Purpose/Objectives: To test the interaction of perceived risk and benefits and how they impact stage of mammography readiness and adherence. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Community gathering centers and healthcare clinics across Indiana. Sample: 299 African American women who had not had a mammogram in more than 18 months. Methods: In-person interviews were used to collect data on sociodemographics, health belief variables, and stage of readiness to undertake mammography screening. Four categories were created to measure the combined magnitude of high or low levels of perceived risk and benefit, with health belief variables linked to modified mammography screening behavior. Main Research Variables: Perceived risks and benefits, stage of readiness, and mammography adherence. Findings: The lowest rate of mammography adherence was in women with a high perceived risk and low perceived benefit toward mammography adherence (26%). The highest rate of adherence was in women with a high perceived benefit and low perceived risk (46%). Differences in mammography adherence were statistically significant between the groups (p = 0.009). Conclusions: The interaction of high perceived risk and low perceived benefits impacted readiness to undergo screening mammography. Implications for Nursing: Reducing disparities in breast cancer diagnosis and survival requires timely and efficient mammography adherence. African American medically underserved women with high perceived risk and low perceived benefits exhibited a reluctance to move forward with mammography adherence. Interventions are needed to increase the perception of mammography benefit and to subsequently reduce breast cancer mortality rates in that population.
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