2018 Volume 244 Issue 3 Pages 209-218
Health care disparities among people with schizophrenia is a global concern. Our previous study revealed cancer screening rates in Japanese people with schizophrenia lower than rates of approximately 40% of the general population. However, that study was based on self-reports, which can be inaccurate, and rates did not differentiate the types of cancer screening provider (i.e., municipal screening, collective opportunistic screening, and individual opportunistic screening). This study aimed to investigate records-based cancer screening rates, focusing on participation rates of people with schizophrenia who are subject to municipal cancer screening programs. We conducted a cross-sectional study at a psychiatric hospital outpatient clinic from September to November 2016. We randomly extracted 420 potential participants from among 680 eligible patients and asked them to participate. We then selected subgroups of participants living in Okayama city who were enrolled in the National Health Insurance or Public Assistance systems and were subject to colorectal, gastric, lung, breast, or cervical cancer screening provided by Okayama city (n = 97, 96, 97, 42, and 64, respectively). Participation in cancer screenings was assessed based on local government records. Municipal cancer screening rates were as follows: 13.4% (95% confidence interval: 6.6%-20.2%) for colorectal, 7.3% (2.1%-12.5%) for gastric, 16.5% (9.1%-23.9%) for lung, 21.4% (9.0%-33.8%) for breast, and 14.1% (5.6%-22.6%) for cervical cancers. The findings demonstrated extremely low cancer screening rates among people with schizophrenia subject to municipal cancer screenings in Japan. A strategy to promote municipal cancer screening for people with schizophrenia is needed.