The association between religiosity, spirituality, and breast cancer screening: A cross-sectional analysis of Alberta’s Tomorrow Project
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Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related mortality among women. Screening permits the early detection and treatment of malignancies, thereby reducing mortality. A woman's religiosity and spirituality (R/S) may facilitate screening through encouragement of healthy behaviors. Population-level data from Alberta's Tomorrow Project (ATP) were used to explore the cross-sectional association between R/S and breast cancer screening among women aged 50 to 69 years who did not have a history of breast cancer. Two variables were used to measure R/S: (1) R/S Salience was defined as the importance of religion and spirituality in one's life; (2) R/S Attendance was defined as the frequency of attendance at religious or spiritual services. We regressed breast cancer screening (mammogram: yes/no) on each R/S variable in separate multivariable logistic regression models. At baseline (n = 2569), 94% of women reported receiving a mammogram. Greater R/S Salience was not associated with receipt of mammogram: the adjusted odds ratio (aOR) was 1.04 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.71-1.51. R/S Attendance also showed no association with mammogram: attending at least once monthly versus never attending (aOR: 1.10; 95% CI: 0.71-1.69); attending one to four times yearly versus never attending (aOR: 0.95, 95% CI: 0.57-1.58). Further research could examine specific subgroups of the population, e.g., whether use of R/S to promote breast cancer screening may be more effective among females with strong pre-existing connections to faith.
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