Initiative successfully encourages women back to breast screening

Friday, March 6, 2020 - 10:46

Going the extra distance to attract women back to breast screening has paid off for BreastScreen South.

The provider launched an initiative in August 2016 to reach wāhine Māori, Pasifika, Asian and Middle Eastern women who didn’t attend screening appointments.

Health Promotion Coordinator Deborah Talaga says the team identified 1059 eligible women, initially using data from healthAlliance, and set about contacting them through a variety of channels.

‘There were two attempts to contact each woman by phone. If that was unsuccessful the woman’s GP was contacted to check information. If the woman lived outside Christchurch she was sent a reminder card with BSA information and a promotional fridge magnet. Those women who lived in Christchurch received a visit at home from two members of the team.’

The team was successful in returning 30 percent (319) women back to screening. The majority were wāhine Māori (61 percent), Asian women (22 percent), Pasifika women (16.4 percent) and Middle Eastern women (6 percent).

The team now routinely follows up wāhine Māori and Pasifika women who do not attend the previous month.

Deborah says the team continues to have success with this initiative. ‘Knowing we are making a real difference to women’s lives makes this a very worthwhile venture that is proving well worth the extra effort.’

Page last updated: 06 March 2020