Improving access to breast cancer screening by women with learning disabilities: a literature review
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Improving access to breast cancer screening by women with learning disabilities: a literature review

Erin Johanna Oelmann Nursing student BSc (Hons) Nursing (Learning Disabilities), School of Health and Social Wellbeing, University of the West of England, Bristol, England
Emma Douglass Senior lecturer, School of Health and Social Wellbeing, University of the West of England, Bristol, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To recognise the barriers experienced by women with learning disabilities in accessing breast cancer screening

  • To understand that person-centred practice, reasonable adjustments and support in decision-making may facilitate access to breast cancer screening

  • To appreciate that implementation of a ‘screening passport’ may assist in reducing health inequities and improve access to breast cancer screening

Breast cancer screening can facilitate earlier diagnosis and improved outcomes. However, women with learning disabilities are less likely to attend breast cancer screening than the general population. This article reports the findings of a literature review that aimed to identify the barriers that prevent women with learning disabilities from accessing breast cancer screening and, through synthesis of the findings, identify solutions to improve attendance rates. The article discusses two themes identified from analysis of the studies reviewed – ‘a person-centred approach to screening is pivotal’ and ‘supporting breast cancer screening decision-making’. The authors conclude that a person-centred approach to care, support for women in decision-making and implementing reasonable adjustments can support access to breast cancer screening for this population. The authors also recommend the development of a breast cancer screening passport to support this process.

Learning Disability Practice. doi: 10.7748/ldp.2022.e2203

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

@ldnursingUWE

Correspondence

erinoelmann@icloud.com

Conflict of interest

None declared

Oelmann EJ, Douglass E (2022) Improving access to breast cancer screening by women with learning disabilities: a literature review. Learning Disability Practice. doi: 10.7748/ldp.2022.e2203

Published online: 15 December 2022

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