Barriers to cancer screening

R. J. Womeodu, James Bailey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

60 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Many barriers to cancer screening have been summarized and discussed. Barriers have been documented in all patient populations, but some groups such as ethnic minorities and the elderly face unique barriers. The barriers to cancer screening are multifactorial, but much of the responsibility for change must lie with health care providers and the health care delivery industry. This is not to free the patient of all responsibility, but some significant barriers are beyond their direct control. Take, for example, socioeconomic status, disease knowledge, and culturally related perceptions and myths about cancer detection and treatment. The health care industry must do a better job identifying and overcoming these barriers. The significant effects of provider counseling and advice must not be underestimated. Patients must first be advised, and then further actions must be taken if they reject the screening advice. Did they refuse adherence to recommendations because they do not view themselves as susceptible, because of overwhelming personal barriers, or because of a fatalistic attitude toward cancer detection and treatment? If that is the case, physicians and health care institutions must attempt to change perceptions, educate, and personalize the message so that patients accept their disease susceptibility (Table 3). Multiple patient and provider risk factors have been identified that can be used to target patients particularly at high risk for inadequate cancer screening and providers at high risk for performing inadequate screening. Research has clearly demonstrated the effectiveness of interventions to improve tracking of patient and physician compliance with screening recommendations. Further research is needed to show the impact of managed-care penetration and payer status on screening efforts, and incentive schemes need to be tested that reward institutions and third-party payers who develop uniform standards and procedures for cancer screening? The greatest responsibility lies with medical and health care institutions and those who determine the priorities of these institutions. Patient and physician barriers to mass cancer screening can be addressed by institutional support. If the quality of care delivered by providers, group practices, managed-care organizations, and HMOs is assessed with priority given to the regularity and consistency with which basic screening procedures are performed, cancer screening will undoubtedly receive greater attention in the clinic. Medical institutions must collaborate to develop standards for cancer screening with attention to the cost-effectiveness of various screening techniques to determine how limited resources can best be spent in cancer control. Such efforts should keep in mind 'that a very small change implemented over a broad population may have a greater effect in absolute numbers than a large level of change applied in a small segment of the population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-133
Number of pages19
JournalMedical Clinics of North America
Volume80
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996

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Early Detection of Cancer
Health Care Sector
Managed Care Programs
Delivery of Health Care
Physicians
Health Insurance Reimbursement
Neoplasms
Group Practice
Mass Screening
Health Maintenance Organizations
Quality of Health Care
Disease Susceptibility
Patient Compliance
Reward
Population Groups
Research
Social Class
Health Personnel
Population
Cost-Benefit Analysis

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Barriers to cancer screening. / Womeodu, R. J.; Bailey, James.

In: Medical Clinics of North America, Vol. 80, No. 1, 01.01.1996, p. 115-133.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Womeodu, R. J. ; Bailey, James. / Barriers to cancer screening. In: Medical Clinics of North America. 1996 ; Vol. 80, No. 1. pp. 115-133.
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