Publication Date

11-1-1998

Degree Type

Master's Project

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Nursing

Abstract

Increasing age is the primary risk factor for breast cancer, yet older women underutilize mammography for early detection. The purpose of this study was to explore any differences in perceived benefits, perceived barriers, and physician recommendation rate between older women who do and those who do not follow current mammogram screening guidelines. A convenience sample of women over 65 years old (N = 70), completed the Health Belief Model questionnaire on mammography. The findings indicate a statistical difference in the perceived benefits to mammograms between the two groups (t = 2.72, p = .008). There was no statistical difference in the perceived barriers. Physician recommendation rates were higher in the group who were compliant. The study demonstrated that the belief in the benefit of annual mammograms and a high rate of physician recommendation were the most important factors for compliance. Nurses can improve the health outcomes of older women by discussing the benefits with them.

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