Background: Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in Malaysia. Of the total cancer cases registered in the National Cancer Registry for 2006, 3,525 were female breast cancer cases. The overall age standardized rate was 39.3 per 100,000 population in 2006. An estimated 30%-40% were diagnosed in the late stages and this had resulted in poor survival rates. The purpose of the study was to determine the factors and barriers related to mammography screening uptake among hospital personnel.
Methods: This mixed method explanatory study was carried out on a universal sampling of 707 female personnel aged 40 and above, from June 2007 until November 2007. The study was conducted at University Malaya Medical Centre, a tertiary hospital in Kuala Lumpur. Pre-tested self-administered questionnaires were mailed to eligible personnel.
Results: The prevalence of mammography screening uptake was 80.3% (95%CI: 76.8%,83.5%) among 534 respondents. Personnel who had physician recommendation had significantly higher odds of mammography screening uptake compared to those who did not have recommendation, adjusted odds ratio of 21.25 (95%CI:12.71,36.56). Reported barriers can be grouped into several themes; negative perception of the procedure like embarrassment due to the presence of male technicians/radiographers; low confidence with radiologist/radiographers in detecting abnormality; lack of coping skills in dealing with expected results and pain during procedure.
Conclusions: The findings of this study highlighted that 20% of personnel did not undertake mammography screening although there is no cost incurred and the procedure is fully accessible to them. Opportunistic recommendation by physician and concerns on the procedure should be addressed.