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This article has been peer reviewed. It is the author’s final published version in Journal of Primary Care & Community Health, Volume 10, August 2019.

The published version is available at Copyright © Weinstein et al.

Publication made possible in part by support from the Thomas Jefferson University + Philadelphia University Open Access Fund


Objective: People with serious mental illness (SMI) experience significant disparities in morbidity and mortality from preventable and treatable medical conditions. Women with SMI have low mammography screening rates. SMI, poverty, and poor access to care can have a significant effect on a woman’s opportunity to learn about and discuss breast cancer screening with health care providers. This study examines the feasibility pilot outcomes of mammography decision support and patient navigation intervention (DSNI) for women with SMI living in supportive housing settings. The primary research question was: Does the DSNI increase knowledge, promote favorable attitudes, and decrease decisional conflict relating to screening mammography?

Methods: We developed the intervention with the community using participatory methods. Women (n = 21) with SMI who had not undergone screening mammography in the past year participated in an educational module and decision counseling session and received patient navigation over a 6-month period. We conducted surveys and interviews at baseline and follow-ups to assess mammography decisional conflict.

Results: Among study participants, 67% received a mammogram. The mammogram DSNI was feasible and acceptable to women with SMI living in supportive housing settings. From baseline to 1-month follow-up, decisional conflict decreased significantly (P= .01). The patient navigation process resulted in 270 attempted contacts (M= 12.86, SD = 10.61) by study staff (phone calls and emails with patient and/or case manager) and 165 navigation conversations (M= 7.86, SD = 4.84). A barrier to navigation was phone communication, with in-person navigation being more successful. Participants reported they found the intervention helpful and made suggestions for further improvement.

Conclusions: The process and outcomes evaluation support the feasibility and acceptability of the mammography DSNI. This project provides initial evidence that an intervention developed with participatory methods can improve cancer screening outcomes in supportive housing programs for people with SMI.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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