This article focuses on understanding the factors that are associated with the decision and obstacles to breast cancer screening in African-American women living in Tennessee. In particular, the lifestyle and demographic factors are assessed based on the Meharry Community Networks Program (CNP) survey. Access to healthcare services for breast cancer screening is especially important for low-income females, who often disregard the importance of health evaluation.
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In this study, 334 women over 40 years were considered as participants, and it was found that marital status and health insurance are the key issues that affect their behaviors. A lack of awareness and transportation challenges also were noted among those factors that limit timely screening. Patel et al. (2014) suggest that the findings of this article point to the need to include the identified obstacles in educational interventions. Since many women who participated in the study reported a lack of knowledge about why, where, and how to receive mammography, it is critical to provide them with relevant information. More to the point, it is assumed that there can be some regional factors that need to be examined in future research.
The article’s balance can be regarded as moderate since the authors built their assumptions on a single data source that is self-reported information of participants. At the same time, it should be stated that the aim of the article was to evaluate the regional differences of African-American women, who live in Tennessee cities, which can justify the approach selected by the authors (Patel et al., 2014). On the one hand, self-reported positions can provide extensive data about the perception and attitudes of the participants.
In this case, a large sample size allowed gathering many perspectives. On the other hand, some women might be unwilling to provide full answers, hiding some information due to confusion, religion, or any other reasons. It would be better if the methodology also included some patient data or, at least, the comparison of women’s answers and clinical data. Nevertheless, the critical review of the article shows that the authors managed to maintain a balance and minimize bias. Even though the authors tend to slant towards one side, they report that there is a high level of agreement between medical reports and patient reports in previous research.
Breast cancer is a serious female disease, the timely diagnosis of which can save a person’s life. In this article, Patel et al. (2014) did sufficient research to clarify the importance of screening in African-American women with a low income. The efforts and perspectives made by the recent practice and theory are also identified, which explains the background of the article. Moreover, the authors properly determine the recommended screening needs and focus on social, demographic, and lifestyle factors (Siu, 2016). The article is technically correct since proper citation and formatting requirements are followed.
One may suggest that more details can improve the argumentation if the author also included cultural factors. The follow-up article should contain the exploration of the ways to address the existing obstacles, such as increasing awareness and improved transportation. Personally, I agree with this article as it supports my opinion regarding the role of screening in breast cancer treatment. It should also be stressed that this study improved my knowledge about potential barriers that African-American women may encounter, which prevents them from receiving healthcare services.
Patel, K., Kanu, M., Liu, J., Bond, B., Brown, E., Williams, E.,… Hargreaves, M. (2014). Factors influencing breast cancer screening in low-income African Americans in Tennessee. Journal of Community Health, 39(5), 943-950.
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Siu, A. L. (2016). Screening for breast cancer: US Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. Annals of Internal Medicine, 164(4), 279-296.