Breast cancer screening in women with cerebral palsy: Could care delivery be improved?

Neeharika Nandam, Deborah Gaebler-Spira, Rachel Byrne, Judith Wolfman, Judy Panko Reis, Chun Wai Hung, Allison Todd, Jordyn Durkin, Christina Marciniak*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Women with disabilities (WWD) have reported lower mammography rates than the general population, however rates for women with cerebral palsy (CP) have not been specifically studied. Objective: To evaluate mammography rates in women with CP and to identify strengths and barriers with their screening experience. Methods: Women with CP 40 years or older (n = 118) participating in a prospective cross-sectional survey were queried regarding screening status, imaging modality, and accommodation needs and availability. Categorical variables were summarized and Chi-square testing used to assess factors contributing to screening compliance. The effect of functional factors on screening was evaluated using logistic regression. Results: 77 women (65.3%) had mammograms within the past two years; 56 (47.5%) were screening mammograms. Severity of fine motor deficits was associated with lack of screening (OR 0.559, p = 0.019). 85 (72.0%) experienced positive staff attitudes. Facilities most often met needs for ramps, elevators, and/or wide doorways (92.9%), exam explanations (84.4%), and accessible parking (82.5%). Needs least often met included accommodations for standing (59.3%) or for difficulties with arm/shoulder positioning (57.1%), and wheelchair-accessible mammogram machines (59.1%). Conclusions: The screening compliance rate for women with CP is low, although the 2-year mammography rate is comparable to that reported for WWD and the general female U.S. population. Women were usually offered respectful care. Adequate physical accommodations during the procedure were reported less often than overall facility environmental accommodations. These findings demonstrate the need for improved screening rates in women with CP, and highlight areas for improving their screening experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)435-441
Number of pages7
JournalDisability and Health Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2018


  • Breast cancer
  • Breast ultrasound
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Mammography
  • Screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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