Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 123–129

Patient Navigation to Increase Mammography Screening Among Inner City Women

  • Christine E. Phillips
  • Jessica D. Rothstein
  • Kristine Beaver
  • Bonnie J. Sherman
  • Karen M. Freund
  • Tracy A. Battaglia
Original Research

DOI: 10.1007/s11606-010-1527-2

Cite this article as:
Phillips, C.E., Rothstein, J.D., Beaver, K. et al. J GEN INTERN MED (2011) 26: 123. doi:10.1007/s11606-010-1527-2

Abstract

Background

Lower mammography screening rates among minority and low income women contribute to increased morbidity and mortality from breast cancer.

Objective

To evaluate the effect of a patient navigation intervention on adherence rates to biennial screening mammography among women engaged in primary care at an inner-city academic medical center.

Design

Quality improvement intervention with a concurrent control group, conducted from February to November of 2008.

Study Subjects

All women in a hospital-based primary care practice aged 51–70 years. Subjects were randomized at the level of their primary care provider, such that half of the patients in the practice received the intervention, while the other half received usual care.

Interventions

Intervention subjects whose last mammogram was >18 months prior received a combination of telephone calls and reminder letters from patient navigators trained to identify barriers to care. Navigators were integrated into primary care teams and interacted directly with patients, providers, and radiology to coordinate care. Navigators utilized an electronic report to track subjects. Adherence rates to biennial mammography were assessed in intervention and control groups at baseline and post-intervention.

Key Results

A total of 3,895 women were randomized to intervention (n = 1,817) and control (n = 2,078) groups. Mean age was 60, 71% were racial/ethnic minorities, 23% were non-English speaking, and 63% had public or no health insurance. At baseline, there was no difference in mammography adherence between the control and intervention groups (78%, respectively, p = 0.55). After the 9-month intervention, mammogram adherence was higher in the intervention group compared with the control group (87% vs. 76%, respectively, p < 0.001). Except among Hispanic women who demonstrated high rates in both the intervention and control groups (85% and 83%, respectively), all racial/ethnic and insurance groups demonstrated higher adherence in the intervention group.

Conclusions

Patient navigation improves biennial mammography rates for inner city, low income, minority populations.

Key Words

mammography screeningpatient navigationquality improvementdisparitieswomen’s health

Supplementary material

11606_2010_1527_MOESM1_ESM.doc (30 kb)
ESM 1(DOC 30 kb)

Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christine E. Phillips
    • 1
  • Jessica D. Rothstein
    • 1
  • Kristine Beaver
    • 1
  • Bonnie J. Sherman
    • 1
  • Karen M. Freund
    • 1
  • Tracy A. Battaglia
    • 1
  1. 1.Women’s Health Unit, Section of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, and Women’s Health Interdisciplinary Research CenterBoston University School of MedicineBostonUSA