Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosis in women (ACS, 2019). Regular mammography screening is the most effective method for early detection and reducing mortality rates (Coleman, 2017). However, in many organizations, mammography adherence rates remain below the national standard of 50%. (ACS, 2018). Despite high-quality evidence showing that screening reduces mortality, a substantial portion of the population remains inadequately screened, showing a need to identify interventions that increase utilization (Smalls et al. 2019). At the beginning of COVID-19, Jefferson Health postponed all non-emergent services, which included delaying breast imaging exams. Volume fell significantly in early April and began to rebound around May-July (Song, et al., 2021). Despite the rebound, rates considerably lagged amongst Asian and Hispanic women (Sprague, et al., 2021). Pandemic-related operational challenges could also likely impact the capacity for mammography screening, which might delay diagnosis for some women (Peng, et al., 2020). The aims of this capstone were to understand COVID-19 impact on mammogram utilization across the Jefferson health system, understand if racial disparities exist in mammography, and recommend public health focused strategies to increase mammogram utilization. I held informal 30 minute conversations over Zoom with various mammography related stakeholders across the Jefferson Health system. I presented key concepts from the conversations and potential actions back to the stakeholders. They ratified these and requested a summarized document with information on intervention prioritization. Overall, there are some really significant efforts and initiatives happening across Jefferson Health to address screening, although gaps and opportunities exist. So continued efforts and hard work are more important than ever as the world continues to change.
Recommended CitationCaldwell, Candace, "Conversations about COVID-19 Related Mammography Utilization Challenges & Opportunities" (2021). Master of Public Health Capstone Presentations. Presentation 417.