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Breast cancer screening. First Nations communities in New Brunswick.

Author(s): Tatemichi S | Miedema B | Leighton S

Journal: Canadian Family Physician
ISSN 0008-350X

Volume: 48;
Issue: 6;
Start page: 1084;
Date: 2002;
Original page

OBJECTIVE: To determine use of breast cancer screening and barriers to screening among women in First Nations communities (FNCs). DESIGN: Structured, administered survey. SETTING: Five FNCs in New Brunswick. PARTICIPANTS: One hundred thirty-three (96%) of 138 eligible women between the ages of 50 and 69 years. INTERVENTIONS: After project objectives, methods, and expected outcomes were discussed with community health representatives, we administered a 32-item questionnaire on many aspects of breast cancer screening. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Rate of use of mammography and other breast cancer screening methods, and barriers to screening. RESULTS: Some 65% of participants had had mammography screening within the previous 2 years. Having mammography at recommended intervals and clinical breast examinations (CBEs) yearly were significantly associated with having had a physician recommend the procedures (P < .001). A family history of breast cancer increased the odds of having a mammogram 2.6-fold (P < .05, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.03 to 6.54). Rates of screening differed sharply by whether a family physician was physically practising in the community or not (P < .05, odds ratio 2.68, 95% CI 1.14 to 6.29). CONCLUSION: Women in FNCs in one health region in New Brunswick have mammography with the same frequency as off-reserve women. A family physician practising part time in the FNCs was instrumental in encouraging women to participate in breast cancer screening.
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