Date of Award

12-2010

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Education

Major Professor

June D. Gorski

Committee Members

Charles B. Hamilton, Greg Petty, David Houston

Abstract

Abstract One of every eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. Although early detection of breast cancer is the most effective method of assuring survival, many women throughout the country do not avail themselves of this advantage. This study examined mammography screening practices of women age 55 and older who attended senior citizen centers in rural, non-metro, and metro counties in the areas designated by the Tennessee Department of Health as the Eastern Grand Division of Tennessee. Data was collected from four hundred women from fourteen counties in East Tennessee using the Champion Health Belief Survey instrument. Data analysis was done using SPSS software. Descriptive analyses were presented consisting of the percentage or mean responses for each of the survey items. Chi Square and ANOVA were used to test whether the observed proportions for mammography screening differed from the hypothesized proportions. Results from this study revealed that health beliefs and demographic characteristics were associated with a higher likelihood of having recent mammography. The health beliefs of participants concerning the perceived benefits to mammograms and the perceived barriers to obtaining mammograms significantly impact one’s willingness to engage in breast cancer screening practices. Also, the woman’s perceived susceptibility to the disease of breast cancer and their perceived seriousness of the disease of breast cancer have a significant impact on breast cancer screening practices. Additionally, a significant difference was found in the screening practices of women based on whether they had health insurance and if their physician recommended a mammogram.

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