Delays in Follow-up Care for Abnormal Mammograms in Mobile Mammography Versus Fixed-Clinic Patients

Suzanne S. Vang, Alexandra Dunn, Laurie R. Margolies, Lina Jandorf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Mobile mammographic services (MM) have been shown to increase breast cancer screening in medically underserved women. However, little is known about MM patients’ adherence to follow-up of abnormal mammograms and how this compares with patients from traditional, fixed clinics. Objectives: To assess delays in follow-up of abnormal mammograms in women screened using MM versus fixed clinics. Design: Electronic medical record review of abnormal screening mammograms. Subjects: Women screened on a MM van or at a fixed clinic with an abnormal radiographic result in 2019 (N = 1,337). Main Measures: Our outcome was delay in follow-up of an abnormal mammogram of 60 days or greater. Guided by Andersen’s Behavioral Model of Health Services Utilization, we assessed the following: predisposing (age, ethnicity, marital status, preferred language), enabling (insurance, provider referral, clinic site), and need (personal breast cancer history, family history of breast/ovarian cancer) factors. Key Results: Only 45% of MM patients had obtained recommended follow-up within 60 days of an abnormal screening compared to 72% of fixed-site patients (p <.001). After adjusting for predisposing, enabling, and need factors, MM patients were 2.1 times more likely to experience follow-up delays than fixed-site patients (CI: 1.5–3.1; p <.001). African American (OR: 1.5; CI: 1.0–2.1; p <.05) and self-referred (OR: 1.8; CI: 1.2–2.8; p <.01) women were significantly more likely to experience delays compared to Non-Hispanic White women or women with a provider referral, respectively. Women who were married (OR: 0.63; CI: 0.5–0.9; p <.01), had breast cancer previously (OR: 0.37; CI: 0.2–0.8; p <.05), or had a family history of breast/ovarian cancer (OR: 0.76; CI: 0.6–0.9; p <.05) were less likely to experience delayed care compared to unmarried women, women with no breast cancer history, or women without a family history of breast/ovarian cancer, respectively. Conclusions: A substantial proportion of women screened using MM had follow-up delays. Women who are African American, self-referred, or unmarried are particularly at risk of experiencing delays in care for an abnormal mammogram.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1619-1625
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of General Internal Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - May 2022


  • abnormal mammogram
  • breast cancer
  • mobile mammography
  • screening
  • underserved


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