Women with mental illness less likely to receive cancer screenings

the ONA take:

According to a new study published in the journal Women's Health Issues, women with symptoms of serious mental illness are significantly less likely to receive Pap tests, mammograms, and clinical breast exams than women in the general population.

For the study, researcher Xiaoling Xiang, a doctoral candidate in social work, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Champaign, Illinois, analyzed data of more than 17,000 women from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Medical Expenditure Panel Survey over a 3-year period. Xiang found over 1,300 women ages 40 to 74 who had symptoms of serious psychological distress.

Previous research has shown mentally ill patients lean toward using outpatient, inpatient, and emergency services more frequently than those in the general population, but patients with mental illness are estimated to die 14 to 32 years earlier than a person in the general population.

Despite the frequent use of the health care system, these patients are not receiving interventions and education to improve their use of preventive services. Xiang suggests that patients with mental illness require integrated primary and behavioral health care to treat patients with comorbid psychological and medical conditions.

Women with mental illness less likely to receive cancer screenings
Women with symptoms of serious mental illness are significantly less likely to receive routine cancer screening.
Women with symptoms of serious mental illness are significantly less likely to receive three routine cancer screenings - Pap tests, mammograms and clinical breast exams - than women in the general population, despite being at elevated risk for medical comorbidities and early death, a new study indicates.
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