Receipt of cancer screening services: surprising results for some rural minorities
ABSTRACT Evidence suggests that rural minority populations experience disparities in cancer screening, treatment, and outcomes. It is unknown how race/ethnicity and rurality intersect in these disparities. The purpose of this analysis is to examine the cancer screening rates among minorities in rural areas.
We utilized the 2008 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) to examine rates of screening for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer. Bivariate analysis estimated screening rates by rurality and sociodemographics. Multivariate analysis estimated the factors that contributed to the odds of screening.
Rural residents were less likely to obtain screenings than urban residents. African Americans were more likely to be screened than whites or Hispanics. Race/ethnicity and rurality interacted, showing that African American women continued to be more likely than whites to be screened for breast or cervical cancer, but the odds decreased with rurality.
This analysis confirmed previous research which found that rural residents were less likely to obtain cancer screenings than other residents. We further found that the pattern of disparity differed according to race/ethnicity, with African Americans having favorable odds of receipt of service regardless of rurality. These results have the potential to create better targeted interventions to those groups that continue to be underserved.
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ABSTRACT: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third leading cause of death among women in the USA. Rural populations have lower rates of CRC screening than their urban counterparts, and rural women have lower screening rates compared with rural men. The purpose of this qualitative study was to identify (1) beliefs of primary care physicians (PCPs) about CRC screening in rural communities, (2) factors that may cause gender disparities in CRC screening in rural areas, and (3) solutions to overcome those barriers. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 17 PCPs practicing in rural central Pennsylvania. PCPs were asked about their CRC screening practices for women, availability of CRC screening services, reminder systems for CRC screening, and barriers to screening specific to their rural communities and to gender. Thematic analysis was used to identify major themes. All 17 PCPs endorsed the importance of CRC screening, but believed that there are barriers to CRC screening specific to women and to rural location. All PCPs identified colonoscopy as their screening method of choice, and generally reported that access to colonoscopy services in their rural areas was not a significant barrier. Barriers to CRC screening for women in rural communities were related to (1) PCPs' CRC screening practices, (2) gender-specific barriers to CRC screening, (3) patient-related barriers, (4) community-related barriers, and (5) physician practice-related barriers. Physicians overwhelmingly identified patient education as necessary for improving CRC screening in their rural communities, but believed that education would have to come from a source outside the rural primary care office due to lack of resources, personnel, and time. Overall, the PCPs in this study were motivated to identify ways to improve their ability to engage more eligible patients in CRC screening. These findings suggest several interventions to potentially improve CRC screening for women in rural areas, including encouraging use of other effective CRC screening modalities (eg fecal occult blood testing) when colonoscopy is not possible, systems-based reminders that leverage electronic resources and are not visit-dependent, and public health education campaigns aimed specifically at women in rural communities.Rural and remote health 13(4):2504. · 0.87 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Access to screening mammography may be limited by the availability of facilities and machines, and nationwide mammography capacity has been declining. We assessed nationwide capacity at state and county levels from 2003 to 2009, the most recent year for which complete data were available. Using mammography facility certification and inspection data from the Food and Drug Administration, we geocoded all mammography facilities in the United States and determined the total number of fully accredited mammography machines in each US County. We categorized mammography capacity as counties with zero capacity (i.e., 0 machines) or counties with capacity (i.e.,≥1 machines), and then compared those two categories by sociodemographic, health care, and geographic characteristics. We found that mammography capacity was not distributed equally across counties within states and that more than 27 % of counties had zero capacity. Although the number of mammography facilities and machines decreased slightly from 2003 to 2009, the percentage of counties with zero capacity changed little. In adjusted analyses, having zero mammography capacity was most strongly associated with low population density (OR = 11.0; 95 % CI 7.7-15.9), low primary care physician density (OR = 8.9; 95 % CI 6.8-11.7), and a low percentage of insured residents (OR = 3.3; 95 % CI 2.5-4.3) when compared with counties having at least one mammography machine. Mammography capacity has been and remains a concern for a portion of the US population-a population that is mostly but not entirely rural.Journal of Community Health 04/2012; 37(6). DOI:10.1007/s10900-012-9562-z · 1.28 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Despite the existence of effective screening, colorectal cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Identification of disparities in colorectal cancer screening will allow for targeted interventions to achieve national goals for screening. The objective of this study was to contrast colorectal cancer screening rates in urban and rural populations in the United States. The study design comprised a cross-sectional study in the United States 1998-2005. Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data from 1998 to 2005 were the method and data source. The primary outcome was self-report up-to-date colorectal cancer screening (fecal occult blood test in last 12 months, flexible sigmoidoscopy in last 5 years, or colonoscopy in last 10 years). Geographic location (urban vs. rural) was used as independent variable. Multivariate analysis controlled for demographic and health characteristics of respondents. After adjustment for demographic and health characteristics, rural residents had lower colorectal cancer screening rates (48%; 95% CI 48, 49%) as compared with urban residents (54%, 95% CI 53, 55%). Remote rural residents had the lowest screening rates overall (45%, 95% CI 43, 46%). From 1998 to 2005, rates of screening by colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy increased in both urban and rural populations. During the same time, rates of screening by fecal occult blood test decreased in urban populations and increased in rural populations. Persistent disparities in colorectal cancer screening affect rural populations. The types of screening tests used for colorectal cancer screening are different in rural and urban areas. Future research to reduce this disparity should focus on screening methods that are acceptable and feasible in rural areas.Cancer Medicine 12/2012; 1(3):350-6. DOI:10.1002/cam4.40