Evaluation of Mammogram Parties as an Effective Community Navigation Method


Women of color do not have the same level of access to mammography services as their White counterparts, and this inequity may be one of the contributing factors to the documented racial disparity in breast cancer mortality in the US. The present study sought to assess the effectiveness of the mammogram party, a promising, but under-studied approach to increasing mammography uptake, particularly among under-served populations. The program targeted mammogram-eligible women in community settings on the west and southwest sides of Chicago, gathering basic demographic information, mammography history, and interest in assistance obtaining a mammogram. Women were navigated either through traditional one-on-one navigation or to a mammogram party. Seven outcome metrics were calculated for each type of navigation. We compared navigation outcomes for those who attended to those who did not attend a mammogram party using two-tailed t tests and chi-square tests. We found that the mammography completion rate for mammogram parties was comparable to that for standard one-on-one navigation (65.8 vs. 63.7%), which is more labor-intensive as evidenced by the number of contacts needed to successfully navigate a woman to mammography (10.9 vs. 15.0). Mammogram parties offer a unique opportunity for fellowship and support for clients who are particularly fearful of mammograms or identifying breast cancer. Programmatically, mammogram parties are an efficient way to complete several mammograms in 1 day. Having the option to both navigate women to mammogram parties or one-on-one navigation allows for more flexibility for scheduling and may ensure a completed a mammogram.

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The program described herein was made possible by funding from the Avon Foundation for Women, Susan G. Komen Chicago, the Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation, Telligen Community Initiative, and The Barbara Bates Foundation. The authors wish to acknowledge Dr. Steve Whitman, Ami Shah, and Dr. Chela Sproles for their contributions to the program and its management and development.

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Correspondence to Kristi L. Allgood.

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Financial Disclosure

KLA, BH, and JK receive funds from Avon Foundation for Women to support salaries and grant activities. In addition, Lynn Sage Foundation funded portions of this program as did the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Chicago Affiliate. None of the authors’ salaries were supported through these grants. MS and JK are supported, in part, by the National Cancer Institute, grant numbers U54CA202995, U54CA202997, and U54CA203000. The authors have no additional financial disclosures.

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Fig. S1

The navigation process (DOCX 28 kb)

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Allgood, K.L., Hunt, B., Kanoon, J.M. et al. Evaluation of Mammogram Parties as an Effective Community Navigation Method. J Canc Educ 33, 1061–1068 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13187-017-1206-7

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  • Mammogram parties/events
  • Increase mammography use/uptake
  • Community navigation
  • Evaluation