Mammogram screening in Chile: using mixed methods to implement health policy planning at the primary care level.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Breast (Edinburgh, Scotland), Volume 20 Suppl 2, p.S40-5 (2011)


2011, Breast Neoplasms, Chile, Early Detection of Cancer, Evaluation Studies as Topic, Female, Health Plan Implementation, Health Policy, Humans, Mammography, National Health Programs, Patient Compliance, Primary Health Care, Public Health Sciences Division, Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic, Research Design


Breast cancer has the highest incidence of all cancers among women in Chile. In 2005, a national health program progressively introduced free mammography screening for women aged 50 and older; however, three years later the rates of compliance with mammographic screening was only 12% in Santiago, the capital city of Chile. This implementation article combines the findings of two previous studies that applied qualitative and quantitative methods to improve mammography screening in an area of Santiago. Socio-cultural and accessibility factors were identified as barriers and facilitators during the qualitative phase of the study and then applied to the design of a quantitative randomized clinical trial. After six months of intervention, 6% of women in the standard care group, 51.8% in the low intensity intervention group, and 70.1% in the high intensity intervention group had undergone a screening mammogram. This review discusses how the utilization of mixed methods research can contribute to the improvement of the implementation of health policies in local communities.