Individual and System-Level Characteristics Associated With Mammography in Women With Intellectual Disabilities

Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Joanne Wilkinson, MD, MSc
Boston University School of Medicine
Karen Freund, MS, MPH
Boston University School of Medicine
Amy Rosen, PHD
Boston University School of Medicine

Women with intellectual disabilities have the same rate of breast cancer as other women but are less likely to undergo screening mammography. Characteristics associated with mammography for women with intellectual disabilities in the United States are unknown. This study was based on a secondary data analysis of the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services database, comparing women who had a mammogram within 2 years with women who had not on variables related to the ecological model. Bivariate analyses, logistic regression, and assessment of interactions were performed.

The study sample's (n = 2907) mean age was 54.7 years; 58% lived in 24-hour residential settings, 52% received nursing health coordination, and more than 25% had clinical examination needs (eg, sedation). Residential setting, health coordination, and recent influenza vaccination were all associated with mammography. Having a guardian, higher level of activities of daily living needs, and examination needs (requiring sedation or limited wait time for examinations) were associated with lower rates. Interactions between health coordination and examination needs confirmed the potential of the nurse to ameliorate barriers to mammography. Several system-level variables were significantly associated with mammography and, in some cases, seemed to ameliorate intrapersonal/behavioral barriers to mammography. Community agencies caring for intellectually disabled women have potential to impact mammography rates by using health coordination.