A randomized community trial to increase mammography utilization among low-income women living in public housing

Jonathan S. Slater, Chung Nim Ha, Michael E. Malone, Paul McGovern, Shelly D. Madigan, John R. Finnegan, Amy L. Casey-Paal, Karen L. Margolis, Nicole Lurie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Background. A randomized trial was conducted to evaluate the impact of a community-based intervention on mammography use among low-income women living in public housing. Methods. All 41 public housing high-rise buildings were randomized to treatment and delayed treatment (control) conditions. After a cross-sectional baseline survey, an intervention called Friend to Friend was conducted in the treatment buildings by American Cancer Society and building resident volunteers. The intervention consisted of a health professional talk, small group discussions, and an opportunity to request assistance in obtaining a mammogram or mammogram reminder. A second cross-sectional survey was conducted to measure differences in screening rates between the study groups. Results. Participation in the intervention averaged 27%. The study groups were equivalent at baseline. At follow-up, the proportion of women age 50-79 years who reported mammography screening in the previous 15 months was significantly higher in the treatment group (64%) than in the control group (52%). Breast cancer knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs did not differ between groups. Conclusions. These findings suggest that a multidimensional intervention which reaches women within their social environment and uses community volunteers can increase mammography utilization among women in public housing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)862-870
Number of pages9
JournalPreventive medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1998

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
1 This research was supported by a grant (RO1 CA52994) from the National Cancer Institute.

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Breast neoplasms
  • Cancer
  • Health behavior
  • Intervention studies
  • Mammography
  • Mass screening
  • Poverty
  • Public housing


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