Background Reaching an acceptable participation rate in screening programs is challenging. With the objective of supporting the Belarus government to implement mammography screening as a single intervention, we analyse the main determinants of breast cancer screening participation. Methods We developed a discrete choice experiment using a mixed research approach, comprising a literature review, in-depth interviews with key informants (n = 23), “think aloud” pilots (n = 10) and quantitative measurement of stated preferences for a representative sample of Belarus women (n = 428, 89% response rate). The choice data were analysed using a latent class logit model with four classes selected based on statistical (consistent Akaike information criterion) and interpretational considerations. Results Women in the sample were representative of all six geographic regions, mainly urban (81%), and high-education (31%) characteristics. Preferences of women in all four classes were primarily influenced by the perceived reliability of the test (sensitivity and screening method) and costs. Travel and waiting time were important components in the decision for 34% of women. Most women in Belarus preferred mammography screening to the existing clinical breast examination (90%). However, if the national screening program is restricted in capacity, this proportion of women will drop to 55%. Women in all four classes preferred combined screening (mammography with clinical breast examination) to single mammography. While this preference was stronger if lower test sensitivity was assumed, 28% of women consistently gave more importance to combined screening than to test sensitivity. Conclusion Women in Belarus were favourable to mammography screening. Population should be informed that there are no benefits of combined screening compared to single mammography. The results of this study are directly relevant to policy makers and help them targeting the screening population.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0224667, hdl.handle.net/1765/120931
Journal PLoS ONE
Citation
Mandrik, E.A, Yaumenenka, A. (Alesya), Herrero, R, & Jonker, M.F. (2019). Population preferences for breast cancer screening policies: Discrete choice experiment in Belarus. PLoS ONE, 14(11). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0224667