Behavioral and psychological impact of returning breast density results to Latinas: Study protocol for a randomized clinical trial

Bhavika K. Patel, Jennifer L. Ridgeway, Karthik Ghosh, Deborah J. Rhodes, Bijan Borah, Sarah Jenkins, Vera J. Suman, Aaron Norman, Matt Jewett, Davinder Singh, Celine M. Vachon, Carmen Radecki Breitkopf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Breast cancer is the most common cancer and the leading cause of cancer mortality among Latinas. As more is learned about the association between mammographic breast density (MBD) and breast cancer risk, a number of U.S. states adopted legislation and now a federal law mandates written notification of MBD along with mammogram results. These notifications vary in content and readability, though, which may limit their effectiveness and create confusion or concern, especially among women with low health literacy or barriers to screening. The purpose of this study is to determine whether educational enhancement of MBD notification results in increased knowledge, decreased anxiety, and adherence to continued mammography screening among Latina women in a limited-resources setting. Methods: Latinas LEarning About Density (LLEAD) is a randomized clinical trial (RCT) comparing the impact of three notification approaches on behavioral and psychological outcomes in Latina women. Approximately 2000 Latinas undergoing screening mammography in a safety-net community clinic will be randomized 1:1:1 to mailed notification (usual care); mailed notification plus written educational materials (enhanced); or mailed notification, written educational materials, plus verbal explanation by a promotora (interpersonal). The educational materials and verbal explanations are available in Spanish or English. Mechanisms through which written or verbal information influences future screening motivation and behavior will be examined, as well as moderating factors such as depression and worry about breast cancer, which have been linked to diagnostic delays among Latinas. The study includes multiple psychological measures (anxiety, depression, knowledge about MBD, perceived risk of breast cancer, worry, self-efficacy) and behavioral outcomes (continued adherence to mammography). Measurement time points include enrollment, 2-4 weeks post-randomization, and 1 and 2 years post-randomization. Qualitative inquiry related to process and outcomes of the interpersonal arm and cost analysis related to its implementation will be undertaken to understand the intervention's delivery and transferability. Discussion: Legislation mandating written MBD notification may have unintended consequences on behavioral and psychological outcomes, particularly among Latinas with limited health literacy and resources. This study has implications for cancer risk communication and will offer evidence on the potential of generalizable educational strategies for delivering information on breast density to Latinas in limited-resource settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number744
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 18 2019


  • Breast cancer
  • Breast density
  • Breast density legislation
  • Hispanic
  • Mammographic breast density (MBD)
  • Mammography
  • Randomized clinical trial (RCT)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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