Practice and Barriers of Mammography among Malaysian Women in the General Population


Objective: The objective of this study was to determine the practice and barriers of mammography andassociated factors among Malaysian women in the general population. Methodology: A cross-sectional studywas conducted among 200 women in Shah Alam, Selangor; Malaysia. The questionnaire contained 27 questionsand was comprised of two sections; socio-demographic characteristics and practices, knowledge and barriersof mammography. All the data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) 13.0.
Results: Of the 200 Malaysian women who participated in this study, the majority were under the age of 50 years(65.5%), Malay (86%), and married (94.5%). Regarding any family history of cancer in general, the majority ofthe participants had none (78%). However, some did report a close relative with breast cancer (16.5%). Whilethe majority of them knew about mammography (68%), 15% had had a mammogram once in their life and only2% had the procedure every two or three years. Univariate analysis showed that age, family history of cancer,family history of breast cancer, regular supplement intake, regular medical check-up and knowledge aboutmammogram were significantly associated with mammogram practice among the general population (p=0.007,p=0.043, P=0.015, p=0.01, p=0.001, p<0.001; respectively). Multivariate analysis using multiple linear regressiontest showed that age, regular medical check-up and knowledge about mammography testing were statisticallyassociated with the practice of mammography among the general population in Malaysia (p=0.035, p=0.015 andp<0.001; respectively). Lack of time, lack of knowledge, not knowing where to go for the test and a fear of thetest result were the most important barriers (42.5%, 32%, 21%, 20%; respectively).
Conclusion: The practiceof mammogram screening is low among Malaysian women.