Access to Breast Cancer Screening Services for Women With Disabilities
Article first published online: 9 MAR 2006
Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing
Volume 34, Issue 4, pages 453–464, July 2005
How to Cite
Mele, N., Archer, J. and Pusch, B. D. (2005), Access to Breast Cancer Screening Services for Women With Disabilities. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing, 34: 453–464. doi: 10.1177/0884217505276158
- Issue published online: 9 MAR 2006
- Article first published online: 9 MAR 2006
- Accepted: October 2004
- Breast cancer screening;
- Health care access;
- Women's health
Objective: To identify barriers to breast cancer screening services encountered by women with physical disabilities.
Design: Phenomenologic design using a semi-structured interview guide to explore the experiences of women with disabilities seeking breast cancer screening services.
Setting: Face-to face interviews conducted in the homes of women from the urban and rural mid-south.
Patients/Participants: A purposive sample of women with motor or sensory disabilities, age 21 to 65, was recruited for this study based on community type and type and severity of disability. Community collaborators working with people with disabilities identified eligible participants.
Results: Although the study focused on breast cancer screening services, women also described financial, architectural, environmental, and attitudinal barriers that affected all of their health care services. Women described poor transportation, heavy doors, and inaccessible exam tables and bathrooms. They felt devalued by their providers and believed that their symptoms were often overlooked. Women with disabilities want to be partners in their own health care.
Conclusions: Women with physical disabilities face both financial and nonfinancial barriers to access that may result in delayed detection and increased risk of poorer outcomes from breast cancer. Providers require education about working with women with disabilities.