Determinants of Cancer Screening Practices of Women Over Age 55: What are the Perceived Barriers and Benefits of Breast Cancer Screening in Older Women?

By Peggy Johnson and June Gorski.

Published by The International Journal of Aging and Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

One of every eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. The risk of developing breast cancer increases with age. Although early detection of breast cancer is the most effective method of assuring survival, many older women do not avail themselves of this advantage. Hypotheses that explain breast cancer mammography screening practices by older women can be classified as health beliefs and socioeconomic/structural issues. This study assessed whether individual health beliefs and/or demographic factors were associated with obtaining recent and regular mammography screening for women 55 years and older who reside in an area of Appalachia that has increased incidences of breast cancer. Data were collected from four hundred and four women from fourteen counties in rural, urban, and suburban areas of Eastern Tennessee who attended Community Senior Citizens Centers. Individual health beliefs and demographic characteristics were associated with a higher likelihood of having recent and regular mammography screenings.

Keywords: Cancer Incidence, Appalachia, Health Disparities, Determinants of Screening Behaviors

Aging and Society: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp.1-14. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 631.307KB).

Dr. Peggy Johnson

Assistant Professor, School of Health Administration, Bluefield State College, San Marcos, USA

Dr. Peggy Johnson, PhD, MPH, is currently an assistant professor and director of the Health Services Management undergraduate program in the Cole School of Business at Bluefield State College; Bluefield, West Virginia. She earned a PhD in Community Health and Master in Public Health (Health Planning and Administration) from the University of Tennessee. She was a Graduate Teaching Associate in the Health & Safety Program at the University of Tennessee. Her research interest includes aging, women’s health issues, barriers to healthcare access, patient safety and environmental management. Peggy has a background in respiratory therapy having worked in Intensive Care/Critical Care, Coronary Care and Home Health Care facilities. She has also worked in Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation in hospital and nursing home settings.

Dr. June Gorski

University of Tennessee, USA

Dr. June Gorski, DrPH, CHES, is a Professor of Public Health and Health Education, Department of Public Health at the University of Tennessee U.S.A. Dr. Gorski’s research interests include implementing effective health education strategies and reducing unintentional injuries.