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Public Health


Angela Prehn


Breast cancer is a widespread public health issue in the United States which affects all women. Although mammography is a proven screening tool, screening rates vary widely. Self-reported health status may play a role in how women perceive their risks for developing breast cancer, which may affect mammography use. The purpose of this cross-sectional survey study was to assess the association between self-reported health status and perceived risk for developing breast cancer, as well as perceived barriers towards mammography screening and use. Social action theory, which holds that social and the psychological factors influence health behaviors, served as the theoretical foundation of the study. A convenience sample of 309 African American, non-Hispanic White, and Hispanic women, aged 30+, was recruited to participate in the study. Linear and logistic regression analyses revealed the model including all variables were significance between self-reported health status, demographic characteristics, and the dependent variables perceived risk of breast cancer, receipt of a mammogram in the last 2 years, and barriers (personal, economic, and health). However, self-reported health status was not a significant individual predictor in any of the analyses, and the null hypotheses for the research questions were not rejected. This study may promote positive social change by providing information on the necessity of interdisciplinary and interrelated educational and intervention approaches to address the challenges of women from diverse populations receiving regular mammograms.