Mammography stages of change in middle-aged women with schizophrenia: An exploratory analysis

Lindamer, Laurie A.; Wear, Emily; Sadler, Georgia Robins
January 2006
BMC Psychiatry;2006, Vol. 6, p49
Academic Journal
Background: Health care providers and educators who seek to create health promotion programs and individualized comprehensive care plans for women with schizophrenia are hindered by the lack of data to guide their efforts. Purpose: This study tested the hypothesis that women with schizophrenia adhere to mammography screening guidelines at the same rate as other same-age women. The study also investigated the validity of the Health Belief (HB) and Stages of Change (SOC) models for breast cancer screening among women with schizophrenia. Methods: Socio-demographic and clinical variables, as well as knowledge, attitudes, and barriers were assessed as a function of stage of change related to breast cancer screening in 46 women with schizophrenia. Results: Women with schizophrenia were statistically less likely to be adherent to the screening recommendations than those without schizophrenia. Some support was found for the validity of the HB and SOC models for breast cancer screening in women with schizophrenia. Women in the Precontemplation stage had significantly higher negative attitude scores compared to Contemplation and Action/Maintenance stages (59.7, 45.7, and 43.2, respectively), and there was a trend for more barriers in the Precontemplation group (4.6, 2.6, 2.7 respectively). Conclusion: Given the small sample size, further research on the rates of breast cancer screening in women with schizophrenia is warranted. Nonetheless, these data suggest that providers who care for women with schizophrenia may need to make take additional measures to ensure that this population receives appropriate screening so as to not put them at greater risk for a late-stage diagnosis of breast cancer. Furthermore, these pilot data suggest that HB and SOC theory-based interventions may be valid for increasing mammography rates in women with schizophrenia.


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