Women with disabilities: General practitioners and breast cancer screening

  • Verger P
  • Aulagnier M
  • Souville M
 et al. 
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Background: Because they undergo breast cancer screening (BCS) relatively infrequently, women with physical or mental impairments may be at higher risk of late-stage breast cancer than women without impairments. A panel of 600 general practitioners (GPs) in Provence (southeastern France) provided information from which barriers potentially associated with BCS practices for women with disabilities were evaluated. Methods: In 2002, a telephone questionnaire collected data about GPs' personal and professional characteristics and their attitudes and practices regarding patients with disabilities. Analysis in 2003 used simple and multiple logistic regressions. Results: More than a quarter of the GPs reported apparently inadequate BCS practices for people with disabilities. Feelings of discomfort when treating people with disabilities, lack of assistance, and communication difficulties were inversely associated with BCS for women with mental and physical impairments. General practitioners' information-seeking strategies were associated with BCS for women with mental impairments, and nursing home work experience was inversely associated with BCS for women with physical impairments. Conclusions: Appropriate training sessions should be made available to improve primary health care quality and prevention practices and to reduce GPs' misperceptions of people with disabilities. © 2005 American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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