Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp 452–457 | Cite as

Depression and Anxiety Diagnoses Are Not Associated with Delayed Resolution of Abnormal Mammograms and Pap Tests Among Vulnerable Women

  • Andrea C. Kronman
  • Karen M. Freund
  • Tim Heeren
  • Kristine A. Beaver
  • Mary Flynn
  • Tracy A. Battaglia
Original Research



Delays in care after abnormal cancer screening contribute to disparities in cancer outcomes. Women with psychiatric disorders are less likely to receive cancer screening and may also have delays in diagnostic resolution after an abnormal screening test.


To determine if depression and anxiety are associated with delays in resolution after abnormal mammograms and Pap tests in a vulnerable population of urban women.


We conducted retrospective chart reviews of electronic medical records to identify women who had a diagnosis of depression or anxiety in the year prior to the abnormal mammogram or Pap test. We used time-to-event analysis to analyze the outcome of time to resolution after abnormal cancer screening, and Cox proportional hazards regression modeling to control for confounding.


Women receiving care in six Boston-area community health centers 2004–2005: 523 with abnormal mammograms, 474 with abnormal Pap tests.


Of the women with abnormal mammogram and pap tests, 19% and 16%, respectively, had co-morbid depression. There was no difference in time to diagnostic resolution between depressed and not-depressed women for those with abnormal mammograms (aHR = 0.9, 95 CI 0.7,1.1) or Pap tests (aHR = 0.9, 95 CI 0.7,1.3).


An active diagnosis of depression and/or anxiety in the year prior to an abnormal mammogram or Pap test was not associated with a prolonged time to diagnostic resolution. Our findings imply that documented mood disorders do not identify an additional barrier to resolution after abnormal cancer screening in a vulnerable population of women.


depression cancer screening women’s health minority populations 


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Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrea C. Kronman
    • 1
  • Karen M. Freund
    • 1
  • Tim Heeren
    • 2
  • Kristine A. Beaver
    • 1
  • Mary Flynn
    • 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
  2. 2.Department of BiostatisticsBoston University School of Public HealthBostonUSA

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