Promoting Breast Cancer Screening Among Women of Color in the National Capital Area

The National Capital Area Breast Health Quality Consortium (BHQC) is a multi-year project, led by the Primary Care Coalition (PCC)’s Breast Health Initiative. The goal of the BHQC is to identify and reduce racial/ethnic disparities in breast health service delivery in the DC Metro Area, particularly for safety-net patients. In 2015 and 2016, the PCC conducted focus groups to explore breast cancer screening beliefs and behaviors among: 1) African American women 2); Latinas; 3) Chinese American women; and 4) Muslim women.  PCC then shared the results and conducted in-depth interviews with patient navigators experienced in serving women of color throughout the National Capital Area.

  • To read the findings from the African American focus groups, click here.
  • To read the findings from the Latina focus groups, click here.
  • To read the findings from the Chinese American focus groups, click here.
  • To read the findings from the Muslima focus groups, click here.

Summary of Overlapping Findings Across All Focus Groups

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“What are the best ways to encourage women in your community to pursue breast cancer screening?”

Focus group participants recommended the following:

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Patient Navigator Recommendations to Improve Screening Rates in the National Capital Area

  • Increase flexibility in appointment scheduling, especially for safety-net clinic patients.
  • Increase the availability of patient support resources, such transportation and child care support.
  • Employ community health workers and lay navigators that represent the patients you serve to deepen provider-patient relationships and establish a community presence.
  • Mail written appointment reminders to patients at regular intervals.
  • Increase availability of in-person translation assistance for West African and East Asian languages.
  • Prior to beginning the exam, the mammography technologist should educate the patient about why their breast is being “squeezed”.