Using Record Linkage to Examine the Impact of Poor Mental Health on Breast Screening Uptake

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Abstract

Background
The UK National Breast Screening Programme is estimated to reduce breast cancer mortality by 20%. To maximise the benefits of the programme, we first need to understand the underlying factors contributing to variations in screening uptake. One potentially significant factor which may contribute to these gradients in screening uptake is poor mental health.

Objectives
The objectives of this study were to examine the impact of poor mental health on breast screening uptake, and whether this explained any of the previously observed socio-demographic gradients in screening uptake.

Methods
Breast screening records were obtained from the National Breast Screening System (NBSS) and were subsequently linked to 2011 Census data within the Northern Ireland Longitudinal Study (NILS). The NILS encompasses 28\% of Census data. This was then linked to psychotropic prescribing information from the Enhanced Prescribing Database (EPD), to produce a de-identified research dataset containing 57,328 women.

Findings
Women with self-reported poor mental health were over 20% less likely to attend screening compared to their counterparts who didn't have poor mental health. Using psychotropic prescribing information as a proxy for the presence of mental illness yielded similar results, with those taking anxiolytics, antipsychotics or hypnotics in the three months before screening invitation significantly less likely to attend than those who were not.

Conclusion
Women with poor mental health were significantly less likely to attend breast screening. However, poor mental health did not explain any of the previously determined socio-demographic gradients in screening uptake.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConference Proceedings for International Conference for Administrative Data Research 2018
Volume3
Edition2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 07 Jul 2018
EventInternational Conference for Administrative Data Research - Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, United Kingdom
Duration: 21 Jun 201822 Jun 2018

Publication series

NameInternational Journal of Population Data Science
ISSN (Print)2399-4908

Conference

ConferenceInternational Conference for Administrative Data Research
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityBelfast
Period21/06/201822/06/2018

Keywords

  • Record Linkage
  • NILS
  • Breast Screening
  • Mental Health

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    Ross, E., & O'Reilly, D. (2018). Using Record Linkage to Examine the Impact of Poor Mental Health on Breast Screening Uptake. In Conference Proceedings for International Conference for Administrative Data Research 2018 (2 ed., Vol. 3). (International Journal of Population Data Science). https://doi.org/10.23889/ijpds.v3i2.474