Small Study Finds Discrepancies Between Black Women’s Recollection of Receiving Some Health Screening Tests and Their Medical Records
There are significant discrepancies in black women's recollection of having had health screenings -- including tests for breast, cervical and colon cancer -- and their medical records, according to a small study published in the journal Oncology Nursing Forum, Reuters Health reports. Blacks have higher death rates than whites from breast, cervical and colon cancer, and researchers attribute the disparity in part to lower screening rates, which reduces the chance of early detection, Reuters Health reports.
For the study, lead researcher Barbara Powe and colleagues interviewed 116 black women about their health screening history and compared their answers with their medical records. Researchers found discrepancies between the women's answers and their medical records in a majority of the cases. Based on comparisons of the women's answers and actual medical records, researchers found that:
- 86% of the women age 20 or older reported having a clinical breast exam at some point in their lives, and 67% reported having had one in the last 12 months, compared with 35% and 26%, respectively, based on medical records;
- 77% of women in their 40s reported having a mammogram at some point in their life, and 29% reported having had one in the last 12 months, compared with 40% and 9% indicated in medical records;
- 56% of women ages 50 or older reported undergoing a fecal occult blood test to detect colon cancer, while medical records indicated 11% had an FOBT; and
- Nearly all of the women interviewed reported having had a Pap test at some point in their lives, compared with 58% from medical records.