en
Scientific article
Open access
English

Cervical cancer screening programs and their context-dependent effect on inequalities in screening uptake: a dynamic interplay between public health policy and welfare state redistribution

Published inInternational Journal for Equity in Health, vol. 20, no. 1, 211
Publication date2021-09-24
Abstract

Background: Breast cancer stands as the leading cause of cancer related mortality in women worldwide. Mammography screening has the potential to improve prognosis by reducing stage at diagnosis. Socioeconomic inequalities in mammography cancer screening have been widely reported. The influence of organised programs on socioeconomic disparities regarding mammography screening is to date unclear. We aimed to investigate the impact of an organised regional screening program on socioeconomic inequalities in terms of the uptake, knowledge and attitudes towards mammography screening. Methods: Data were obtained from two cross-sectional surveys of women 50 to 69 years old conducted in 1998 and 2012, before and after the implementation of an organised breast cancer screening program in Geneva, Switzerland. Socioeconomic status was measured by monthly household income and education level. Logistic and linear regression multivariable models were used to investigate the evolution of socioeconomic gradients between 1998 and 2012 in terms of uptake, knowledge and attitudes towards mammography screening. Results: In 1998, before the implementation of an organised screening program, 44% of women from the lowest education category reported mammography practice conforming to recommendations versus 63% of the more educated participants. This socioeconomic gradient was no longer present in 2012 where reported mammography practice at guideline-recommended frequency were 83 and 82% in the lowest and highest education level categories respectively (change in education gradient over time, p = 0.018). The difference in mammography practice in agreement with recommendations between the lowest and the highest income category went from 27 percentage points in 1998 to 14 percentage points in 2012 (change in income gradient over time, p = 0.10). The socioeconomic gradient in negative attitudes towards mammography screening persisted in 2012 but was reduced compared to 1998. We did not observe a reduction in the socioeconomic disparities in knowledge regarding mammography screening over this period. Conclusions: This study suggests that mammography screening programs may lessen socioeconomic inequities in mammography practice. Such programs should feature adapted communication tools to reach women of lower socioeconomic status to attempt to further reduce socioeconomic gradients in mammography screening.

eng
Keywords
  • Access to healthcare
  • Cancer screening participation
  • Decommodification
  • Education gradient
  • Income gradient
  • Screening strategy
Funding
  • 176115 - Swiss National Science Foundation
  • FWOOPR2018005701 - Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek
Citation (ISO format)
DE PREZ, Vincent et al. Cervical cancer screening programs and their context-dependent effect on inequalities in screening uptake: a dynamic interplay between public health policy and welfare state redistribution. In: International Journal for Equity in Health, 2021, vol. 20, n° 1, p. 211. doi: 10.1186/s12939-021-01548-6
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
accessLevelPublic
Identifiers
ISSN of the journal1475-9276
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34downloads

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Creation10/04/2021 2:25:00 PM
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