BMC Cancer. 2021 May 12;21(1):539. doi: 10.1186/s12885-021-08321-6.
BACKGROUND: Undergoing cancer screening is a debatable topic in patients with cognitive impairment. In this study, we aimed to examine the utilization and predictors of breast and colorectal cancer screening among screening eligible, cognitively impaired individuals.
METHODS: We analyzed the 2018 and 2019 National Health Interview Survey data (n = 12,965 and 24,782, respectively) on individuals eligible for breast or colorectal cancer screening. We calculated the percentage of cancer screening eligible individuals who received mammogram or colonoscopy by cognitive impairment status. We used multivariable logistic regression to examine whether having a recent mammogram or colonoscopy differed by cognitive impairment status, adjusting for covariates.
RESULTS: We observed a significantly lower percentage of mammogram use in the screening eligible, cognitively impaired (mild or severe) versus unimpaired women. Adjusting for the covariates, the cognitively impaired women, mild (odds ratio [OR] = 0.85; p = 0.015) or severe (OR = 0.54; p < 0.001), were less likely to have had a recent mammogram compared to the cognitively unimpaired women. Although statistically non-significant, the percentage of colonoscopy use in the screening eligible, cognitively impaired individuals were slightly higher than that in the cognitively unimpaired individuals. In the regression analysis, we found the cognitively impaired men, mild (OR = 0.79; p < 0.001) or severe (OR = 0.69; p = 0.038), were less likely to have had a recent colonoscopy compared to the cognitively unimpaired men. More studies are needed to examine the multilevel factors that underpin the difference in cancer screening utilization in this vulnerable population.
CONCLUSION: Our results highlight the need for additional research to address utilization and effectiveness of cancer screening in individuals with cognitive impairment.