An analysis of two methods for the classification of stage of readiness to obtain repeat mammography screening

Janice Annette Allen Chilton, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Background and purpose: Breast cancer continues to be a health problem for women, representing 28 percent of all female cancers and remaining one of the leading causes of death for women. Breast cancer incidence rates become substantial before the age of 50. After menopause, breast cancer incidence rates continue to increase with age creating a long-lasting source of concern (Harris et al., 1992). Mammography, a technique for the detection of breast tumors in their nonpalpable stage when they are most curable, has taken on considerable importance as a public health measure. The lifetime risk of breast cancer is approximately 1 in 9 and occurs over many decades. Recommendations are that screening be periodic in order to detect cancer at early stages. These recommendations, largely, are not followed. Not only are most women not getting regular mammograms, but this circumstance is particularly the case among older women where regular mammography has been proven to reduce mortality by approximately 30 percent. The purpose of this project was to increase our understanding of factors that are associated with stage of readiness to obtain subsequent mammograms. A secondary purpose of this research was to suggest further conceptual considerations toward the extension of the Transtheoretical Model (TTM) of behavior change to repeat screening mammography. Methods. A sample (n = 1,222) of women 50 years and older in a large multi-specialty clinic in Houston, Texas was surveyed by mail questionnaire regarding their previous screening experience and stage of readiness to obtain repeat screening. A computerized database, maintained on all women who undergo mammography at the clinic, was used to identify women who are eligible for the project. The major statistical technique employed to select the significant variables and to examine the man and interaction effects of independent variables on dependent variables was polychotomous stepwise, logistic regression. A prediction model for each stage of readiness definition was estimated. The expected probabilities for stage of readiness were calculated to assess the magnitude and direction of significant predictors. Results. Analysis showed that both ways of defining stage of readiness for obtaining a screening mammogram were associated with specific constructs, including decisional balance and processes of the change. Conclusions. The results of the present study demonstrate that the TTM appears to translate to repeat mammography screening. Findings in the current study also support finding of previous studies that suggest that stage of readiness is associated with respondent decisional balance and the processes of change.

Subject Area

Public health|Oncology

Recommended Citation

Allen Chilton, Janice Annette, "An analysis of two methods for the classification of stage of readiness to obtain repeat mammography screening" (2000). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9981805.