197697 Breast cancer screening among women with multiple sclerosis

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ana Todd, RN BSN , School of Nursing, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
Alexa K. Stuifbergen, PhD, RN, FAAN , School of Nursing, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
Recent literature indicates that women with various types of chronic disabling conditions are less likely to participate in routine breast cancer screening compared to those without disabling conditions. The purpose of this study was to identify the barriers and experiences related to breast cancer screening among women with the chronic disabling condition of multiple sclerosis (MS). After receiving approval from the IRB, a semi-structured interview in a private setting was conducted with 24 women with MS whose mean age was 55. Interviews were audio-taped and transcribed verbatim. The interview schedule included questions about their knowledge, experience, barriers, and facilitators related to breast cancer screening. Qualitative descriptive techniques were used to analyze the data. The majority of the women in the sample were White, 62% were married, almost 46% had at least a bachelor's degree, 26% were unemployed due to their disability and less than half reported using an assistive device for mobility limitations. Findings show that 38% of the women interviewed had not received annual mammograms and 38% had not performed monthly breast self-exams. Although the majority participated in screening, these women described barriers to breast cancer screening. These included lack of knowledge, lack of transportation, perceptions of low susceptibility to breast cancer, and inaccessible mammography equipment. In the case of breast self-exams, having fear, failing to remember, and having “enough to deal with” were barriers reported by the women in this study. This work was supported by Grant R01NR003195, NINR, NIH.

Learning Objectives:
Describe barriers, facilitators and experiences related to mammography among women with multiple sclerosis. Describe barriers to breast self-exams among women with multiple sclerosis

Keywords: Breast Cancer Screening, Disability

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a doctoral student doing research on breast cancer screening among women with chronic disabling conditions such as multiple sclerosis
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

See more of: Disability and Access to Care II
See more of: Disability