Table 2

Perceptions of overdetection themes and subthemes

Themes and subthemesIllustrative quotationsUnderstand
Did not understand (n=29)
1. Resistance to the concept, n (%)17 (57)*12 (41)
  Negative persuasion‘It [overdetection] might encourage women not to get mammograms… and that could be a risk’ (P24, age 71 years, Hispanic, ≤HS).
‘This to me should not be an issue brought to the elderly because you’re going to have people that are easier to persuade that they’ll start thinking, “Well, this little bitty piece of cancer here’s not going to bother me…I don’t like the negative persuasion.” ’ (P20, age 73 years, NHB, >HS).
5 (17)4 (14)
  How do you know?‘How do you know? I think there’s no way of knowing it until you had a mammogram’ (P12, age 90 years, NHW, >HS).
‘How did they know she had it?’ (P59, age 74 years, Hispanic, >HS).
16 (53)9 (31)
2. Role of a physician’s recommendation for screening, n (%) 8 (27) 11 (38)
  Follow doctor recommendation‘I think if the doctor told me that I needed to get a mammogram, I’d go get one… I don’t think you should have a closed mind at any age’. (P8, age 92 years, NHB, >HS).
‘I would follow; I guess I would follow my doctor’s advice on what to have done about it’. (P16, age 92 years, NHW, >HS).
8 (27)11 (38)
  Second opinion‘I am going to ask my doctor and if I like it [opinion], I’ll do what she says and if I don’t I’ll do what I feel I need to do’. (P7, age 72 years, Hispanic, >HS).
‘There’s a certain thing as a second opinion too… not just take one person’s word’. (P30, age 73 years, NHB, >HS).
2 (7)0 (0)
3. Confusion with other harms of screening, n (%)2 (7)7 (24)
  Screening harms‘Same thing happened to my daughter…. they found an abnormality in her but when she went back to take it again they found that it wasn’t cancer’. (P30, age 73 years, NHW, >HS).
‘I’ve known people to take mammograms and they didn’t find them and they still ended up with cancer’. (P64, age 72 years, NHB, ≤HS).
4. Comparison with other health conditions, n (%)5 (17)2 (7)
 Health conditions‘Some of them, it [prostate cancer] kills and some of them go on with their life and it doesn’t bother them a bit’. (P8, age 92 years, NHW, >HS).
‘As long as they [thyroid nodules] are not bothering me, don’t bother them’. (P25, age 74 years, NHB, >HS).
  • *Data are presented as number (column percentage) of participants.

  • HS, high school; NHB, non-Hispanic black; NHW, non-Hispanic white.