• breast neoplasms;
  • early detection of cancer;
  • guidelines adherence;
  • healthcare survey

FREITAS C., TURA L.F.R., COSTA N. & DUARTE J. (2012) European Journal of Cancer Care21, 349–359

A population-based breast cancer screening programme: conducting a comprehensive survey to explore adherence determinants

This research examines several important individual and environmental variables that can predict breast cancer screening practices among Portuguese women aged 45–69 years old, under a population-based programme. A cross-sectional study was conducted to a convenience sample with 805 women in Aveiro municipality. Survey interviews were applied to adherents and non-adherents in two different settings (health centre, home places). A combination of bivariate (chi-squared test) and multivariate analysis [decision tree by the chi-squared automatic interaction detection (CHAID) algorithm] was performed to determine differences between the groups and predict the variables. Findings showed that there is a significant association between almost all 29 indicators with adherence and non-adherence. Younger women (<50 years) with ‘concordant’ Behaviour Profile to the guidelines are those who adhere more in comparison with the other age groups. On the other hand, those with non-adherent behaviour need to have a ‘good’ attendance of healthcare providers for becoming adherents to the screening programme. Multiple strategies that combine enhancing primary health care access, individual behaviour and knowledge must be addressed to uptake adherence. In this way, the health teams must act in accordance with the guidelines, targeting more effective health education practices to achieve the goals of the breast cancer screening.