Ritchie, D., Van Hal, G. & Van den Broucke, S.
Archives of Public Health, 80, Article No. 143 (2022).
Participation in mammography screening comes with harms alongside benefits. Information about screening provided to women should convey this information yet concerns persist about its effect on participation. This study addressed factors that may influence the intention to screen once a woman has been informed about benefits and harms of participation.
A cross-sectional survey of women from five countries (Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom) was performed in January 2021. The survey contained a statement regarding the benefits and harms of mammography screening along with items to measure cognitive variables from the theory of planned behaviour and health belief model and the 6-item version of the European Health Literacy Survey Questionnaire (HLS-EU-Q6). Logistic regression and mediation analysis were performed to investigate the effect of cognitive and sociodemographic variables.
A total of 1180 participants responded to the survey. 19.5% of participants (n = 230) were able to correctly identify that mammography screening carries both benefits and harms. 56.9% of participants (n = 672) responded that they would be more likely to participate in screening in the future after being informed about the benefits and harms of mammography screening. Perceived behavioural control and social norms demonstrated were significant in predicting intention, whereas, the effect of health literacy was limited.
Informing women about the presence of benefits and harms of in mammography screening participation did not negatively impact upon intention to be screened. Information should also address perception on implementation factors alongside messages on benefits and harms. Overall, screening programme managers should not be discouraged by the assumption of decreased participation through increasing efforts to address the lack of knowledge on benefits and harms.