Clinic-based interventions to promote breast and cervical cancer screening

Electra D. Paskett, Kimberly McMahon, Cathy Tatum, Ramon Velez, Brent Shelton, L. Douglas Case, James Wofford, William Moran, Antoinette Wymer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Background. Breast and cervical cancer continue to claim the lives of women. Early detection modalities for these cancers are available; however, utilization rates are far from optimal. Studies have documented the motivating effect that physician recommendations have on compliance with preventive health behaviors. The goal of this study was to develop and implement strategies to improve the use of cervical and breast cancer screening among African-American women age 40 and older who resided in low- income housing communities. Methods. Baseline surveys among clinic providers and a random sample of women in the target population indicated areas to be included in intervention material. Community health center-based strategies included educational interventions for providers and patients, follow-up interventions for abnormal screening tests, and the implementation of a computer tracking system. Pap smear and mammogram utilization rates at the health center were tracked throughout the project period to assess the effect of the clinic-based interventions. Results. Both Pap smear and mammography rates increased over time. Fifteen cases of breast cancer and 1 case of invasive cervical cancer have been detected. Compliance rates for follow-up for cervical dysplasia have increased from 50 to 90%. Conclusions. These results suggest that clinic-based interventions can improve the use of breast and cervical cancer screening and follow-up among low-income women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-128
Number of pages9
JournalPreventive Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1998

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The Forsyth County Cancer Screening (FoCaS) project, funded by the NCI as one of six Public Health Approaches to Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening grants, is designed to test the effectiveness of clinical inreach and community outreach interventions in improving screening utilization by low-income, minority women in rural and urban areas [17]. The objectives of the FoCaS project are to reduce the burden of breast and cervical cancer by improving knowledge, attitudes, and participation in breast and cervical cancer screening and to identify barriers to early cancer detection faced by the target population and health care providers. Secondary objectives are to assess and improve compliance with follow-up recommendations for abnormal findings from mammography, clinical breast examinations (CBE), and Pap smears through a clinic-based inreach program at Reynolds Health Center.


  • Breast cancer
  • Cancer screening
  • Cervical cancer
  • Early detection
  • Nursing interventions
  • Office- based systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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