Mammography screening is underutilized, especially among women of lower socioeconomic status (SES). Mobile mammography units reduce cost and patient burden of mammography, and therefore might enhance screening rates among underserved populations. Few studies have explored factors associated with the acceptability of mobile mammography; none have targeted low-SES women. To explore these issues, we conducted focus group interviews in five university-affiliated urban primary-care clinics. The forty-three participants were 74% African-American, ranged in age from 40 to 70 years and most (67%) had household incomes below $15 000. A trained moderator led the groups of eight to 12 women through standardized, open-end interview questions exploring perceptions of mobile mammography. Findings suggest mammography vans are acceptable under only certain circumstances, including advance notice and assurance of privacy and quality. Convenience was important; 53% related being more likely to have mammograms if scheduled in conjunction with primary-care visits. Participants felt strongly that vans were inappropriate for public forums such as shopping centers. Association with primary-care health centers seemed to legitimize mammography vans and to allay concerns. If mammography screening is to become more widespread among low-income populations, these exploratory findings must be addressed in research and intervention development.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health