Breast screening attendance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in the Northern Territory of Australia

Kriscia A. Tapia, Gail Garvey, Mark F. McEntee, Mary Rickard, Lorraine Lydiard, Patrick C. Brennan

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    Objective: To compare breast screening attendances of Indigenous and non-Indigenous women.

    Methods: A total of 4,093 BreastScreen cases were used including 857 self-identified Indigenous women. Chi-squared analysis compared data between Indigenous and non-Indigenous women. Logistic regression was used for groupings based on visits-to-screening frequency. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated for associations with low attendance.

    Results: Indigenous women were younger and had fewer visits to screening compared with non-Indigenous women. Non-English speaking was mainly associated with fewer visits for Indigenous women only (OR 1.9, 95%CI 1.3-2.9). Living remotely was associated with fewer visits for non-Indigenous women only (OR 1.3, 95%CI 1.1-1.5). Shared predictors were younger age (OR 12.3, 95%CI 8.1-18.8; and OR 11.5, 95%CI 9.6-13.7, respectively) and having no family history of breast cancer (OR 2.1, 95%CI 1.3-3.3; and OR 1.8, 95%CI 1.5-2.1, respectively).

    Conclusions: Factors associated with fewer visits to screening were similar for both groups of women, except for language which was significant only for Indigenous women, and remoteness which was significant only for non-Indigenous women. Implications for public health: Health communication in Indigenous languages may be key in encouraging participation and retaining Indigenous women in BreastScreen; improving access for remote-living non-Indigenous women should also be addressed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)334-339
    Number of pages6
    JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
    Issue number4
    Early online date3 Jul 2019
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


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