Interventions to promote mammography screening don't seem to work

April 17, 2008

Neither tailored nor targeted interventions have any significant effect on mammography screening rates, according to two studies published in the Mar. 5 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Neither tailored nor targeted interventions have any significant effect on mammography screening rates, according to two studies published in the Mar. 5 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

In the first study, Sally W. Vernon, PhD, from the University of Texas-Houston School of Public Health, and colleagues randomly assigned 5,500 female veterans (≥52 years) to one of three strategies to increase mammography screening: tailored and targeted, targeted only, and a survey-only control group. The investigators found that neither intervention had any significant effect on mammography rates.

In the second study, Deborah J. del Junco, PhD, from the same institution, and colleagues randomly assigned 21,340 women (≥52 years) to one of five groups as part of a trial to promote mammography screening: groups 1-3 received baseline surveys and groups 1-2 received varied personalization materials. Group 4 received a post-intervention survey at year 1 and group 5 received a post-intervention survey at year 2, both of which coincided with follow-up surveys to groups 1-3.

“Groups 1-3 were similar throughout the trial in participation and correlates of mammography screening. No statistically significant survey cueing effects or differences between nonparticipants and participants across groups were observed,” del Junco’s team found Vernon SW, del Junco DJ, Tiro JA , et al. Promoting regular mammography screening II. Results from a randomized controlled trial in US women veterans. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2008;100:347-348. Published online at doi:10.1093/jnci/djn026.

del Junco DJ, Vernon SW, Coan SP, et al. Promoting regular mammography screening I. A systematic assessment of validity in a randomized trial. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2008;100:333-346. Published online at doi:10.1093/jnci/djn027.