Breast cancer risk increases with age, and disease mortality has a direct correlation to the stage of detection. Mammography remains the gold standard for early detection of the disease, yet females aged 65 and over have demonstrated a lack of compliance with recommended screening frequency. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of an educational program on the variables of perceived susceptibility to breast cancer, benefits of and barriers to mammography, and intention to obtain mammography. The variables are constructs of the Health Belief Model which served as the theoretical framework for the study. The variables were assessed through use of Champion's Susceptibility, Benefits, and Barriers Scale for Mammography Screening. The quasiexperimental, pretest-posttest, one-group study was conducted in small group settings in five senior housing facilities located in the metropolitan area of a large southeastern city in the United States. The educational program intervention was offered to a convenience sample of females aged 65 years and older. The sample (N = 13) was drawn from this population and included those women with no history of breast cancer and no mammogram in the i i i past 2 years. Statistical data included demographic analysis and paired t tests. There was no statistically significant difference in the perceived susceptibility to breast cancer, benefits and barriers of mammography, or intention to obtain a mammogram after the educational program. Women who were in compliance with mammography screening guidelines had higher perceptions of the benefits of mammography than those who were not current on their mammograms. The majority of women who chose to attend the educational program were current with the mammography screening recommendations and met the goal of 60% compliance set by the Healthy People 2 00 0 initiative. Recommendations for further research include replication of this study with a larger and more diverse sample. A similar study could be conducted specifically targeting women who are not in compliance with guidelines. Qualitative research studies could be implemented to explore the reasons why those women who are in compliance with mammography screening are compliant. The role the health care provider plays in the recommendation to obtain mammography should be ascertained through additional study.


Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


Graduate Nursing

Degree Date


Publication Number


First Advisor

Dr. Teresa Hamill

Second Advisor

Dr. Lynn Chilton

Third Advisor

Betty Joyce Metheny

Document Type


Included in

Nursing Commons