Primary care residents' characteristics and motives for providing differential medical treatment of cervical cancer screening
Background: Cervical cancer screening rates in the United States are sub-optimal. Physician factors likely contribute to these lower rates. Previous studies provide inconclusive evidence about the association between physician characteristics and the likelihood of addressing cervical cancer. This report assesses potential mechanisms that explain why certain providers do not address cervical cancer screening, Methods: One hundred primary care residents from various specialties were asked to indicate the preventive topics they would address with a hypothetical white female in her early 20s, who was portrayed as living a "high risk" lifestyle, and visiting her provider only for acute care reasons. Results: Among the provider characteristics assessed, only residents' ethnicity was associated with the likelihood of and time spent addressing cervical cancer screening. In particular, Asian-American residents were least likely to address cervical cancer, while African-American residents were most likely. A mediation analyses revealed that perceived barriers for addressing cervical cancer accounted for this difference. Conclusions: Study results suggest that there may be cultural factors among health care providers that may account for differential referral and treatment practices. Findings from this study may help identify factors that explain why cervical cancer screening rates are not higher.
Arredondo, EM; Pollak, KI; Costanzo, P; McNeilly, M; Myers, E
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