Mammography has provided the earliest means of breast cancer detection, but compliance has remained low. The purpose of this descriptive study was to identify health beliefs and practices of women over 40 years of age regarding mammographie screening. Also, it was to compare health beliefs and practices between women engaging and not engaging in mammographie screening. The Neuman Systems Model was used to guide the study. Two null hypotheses were developed to guide this study. They were Ho^: There is no significant difference in health beliefs between women who engage in mammographie screening and women who do not engage in mammographie screening and Ho^: There is no significant difference in health practices between women who engage in mammographie screening and women who do not engage in mammographie screening. The Health Belief Model and Preventive Health Behaviors Questionnaire was administered to a convenience sample of 100 women over 40 years of age from Northwest Mississippi communities. Descriptive statistics and the t test were used to analyze the data. Qualitative analysis was used to describe questions that required comments. Since three significant health beliefs emerged, Ho^ was rejected. Women with higher educational levels, who perceived they could develop cancer, and received encouragement were more likely to have a mammogram. Since seven significant practice variables emerged, Ho^ was rejected. Women who had previous mammograms, planned additional screening, performed breast self-examinations, sought dental care, had regular medical checkups, had clinical breast examinations, and pap smears. Subjects believed that breast cancer was extremely serious, yet 25% had never had a mammogram, and only 17% felt confident in performing breast self-examinations. However, 87% did some other type of health behavior that reduced chances of getting breast cancer. Findings from the study indicate a need to further investigate health beliefs and practices of women concerning mammography across socioeconomic and ethnic boundaries. Implications for nursing science include the continued application of the Neuman Systems Model with other groups of women, refinement, and prevention programs to all women and inclusion of assessment of high risk cases of breast cancer as part of the data base.
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
Dr. Mary Patricia Curtis
Wolfe, Carlene M., "A Descriptive Study Examining the Health Beliefs and Practices Among Women Over 40 Years of Age Concerning Mammographic Screening" (1993). MSN Research Projects. 73.