Women with physical disability and the mammogram: An observational study to identify barriers and facilitators
Purpose: To identify barriers and facilitators experienced by women with physical disability having a mammogram. Method: Direct observation of the mammography procedure for women with a range of physical disability at screening facilities of BreastScreen NSW Australia. Results: A volunteer sample of 13 women with varying degrees of physical disability participated in the study. The outcomes suggested that many barriers for women with physical disability can be ameliorated by environmental adaptations and guidelines for both radiographers and women. Some women however cannot be screened successfully, or can be screened only with a level of trauma and/or pain which militates against their continuation within the screening program. This study has identified physical limitations which preclude a successful outcome, those which increase the discomfort/pain of the procedure and aspects of the procedure which can be improved to minimise the experience of discomfort/pain. Conclusion: From the outcomes of the study the development of a decision tool is indicated as a method of providing information for women with physical disability and their doctors as to the likelihood of a successful outcome to participation in mammography screening.