Do mobile units contribute to spatial accessibility to mammography for uninsured women?

Amy E. Hughes, Simon C. Lee, Jan M. Eberth, Emily Berry, Sandi L. Pruitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Limited spatial accessibility to mammography, and socioeconomic barriers (e.g., being uninsured), may contribute to rural disparities in breast cancer screening. Although mobile mammography may contribute to population-level access, few studies have investigated this relationship. We measured mammography access for uninsured women using the variable two-step floating catchment area (V2SFCA) method, which estimates access at the local level using estimated potential supply and demand. Specifically, we measured supply with mammography machine certifications in 2014 from FDA and brick-and-mortar and mobile facility data from the community-based Breast Screening and Patient Navigation (BSPAN) program. We measured potential demand using Census tract-level estimates of female residents aged 45–74 from 5-year 2012–2016 American Community Survey data. Using the sign test, we compared mammography access estimates based on 3 facility groupings: FDA-certified, program brick-and-mortar only, and brick-and-mortar plus mobile. Using all mammography facilities, accessibility was high in urban Dallas-Ft. Worth, low for the ring of adjacent counties, and high for rural counties outlying this ring. Brick-and-mortar-based estimates were lower for the outlying ring, and mobile-unit contribution to access was observed more in urban tracts. Weak mobile-unit contribution across the study area may indicate suboptimal dispatch of mobile units to locations. Geospatial methods could identify the optimal locations for mobile units, given existing brick-and-mortar facilities, to increase access for underserved areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106156
JournalPreventive Medicine
StatePublished - Sep 2020


  • Breast cancer
  • Mammography
  • Mobile mammography
  • Rural
  • Spatial accessibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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