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Open Access Research article

Factors associated with use of breast cancer screening services by women aged ≥ 40 years in Korea: The Third Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005 (KNHANES III)

Kiheon Lee, Hyung Taek Lim and Sang Min Park*

BMC Cancer 2010, 10:144  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-10-144

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Errors in Methods

Jun-Pyo Myong   (2011-05-31 12:57)  Public Health Center, CheongWonGun, ROK email

Dear Dr. Park.

The authors wrote the methods as followed;
'The third (2005) KNHANES is composed of four parts: the Health Interview survey, the Health Examination survey, the Nutrition survey and the Health Promotion Knowledge, Attitude and Practice (HP-KAP) survey. As the item about breast cancer screening was included in HP-KAP survey, we started with cross-sectional data from the HP-KAP survey. HP-KAP survey was conducted in each household as face-to-face interviews by trained interviewers. In the third (2005) KNHANES, 8,417 individuals aged ≥ 19 year were sampled as subjects of the HP-KAP survey. Among them, 7,802 individuals participated in the examination: the response rate was 92.7%. Figure 2 shows the model used to select our study population. Subjects of male gender, aged less than 40 years, whose responses were incomplete, or who had a prior diagnosis of breast cancer were excluded from the study, leaving a total of 2,583 subjects. '

The response rate is completely different from HP-KAP in the instruction for users of KNHANES III. I think it was wrong that authors used the study population as 7,802.
If you know the exact meaning of examination which is underlined in this paragraph, you don't confuse the study population. The meaning of examnination(i.e. blood, urine, blood pressure etc.) was different from breast cancer examination. The missing 7.3% of subject can finished complete the questionnare of Breast cancer screening.
Because the real response rate of HP-KAP was 92.8%(8835/9516) in the original text(KNHANES III, pp9).
If the authors want to use the study population, they had to use study population totally not n=7,802 but n=8,417.
You will be able to find that number of subjects belonged to 'No responses to questionnaire on breast cancer screening practice' will be much more than 7 in figure 2. The exect number of no response will be as followed;
no responses to questionnaire on breast cancer screening practice = (8417 or 8835 - no. of men - no. of aged 40 or less - no. of responses to questionnaire)

I want to correct or clarify the information of study population in above article.

I thank you for your consideration and looking forward to your response.

Jun-Pyo Myong, M.D. MPH
Public health Doctor of CheongWonGun.

Competing interests

No competing interests

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