April 29, 2020

✪ Situational analysis of breast health care systems: Why context matters


Catherine Duggan, Allison Dvaladze, John R. Scheel, Lisa M. Stevens, & Benjamin O. Anderson

University of Washington affiliated authors are displayed in bold.

✪ Open Access

Published: April 2020

Read the full text in the open access journal Cancer



Implementation of evidence‐based, resource‐appropriate guidelines for breast cancer control should be preceded by a baseline assessment or situational analysis to assess breast health infrastructure, workforce capacity, patient pathways, existing practices, accessibility, and costs.


To support the assessment of breast health care systems within the broader context in which they exist, the Breast Health Global Initiative (BHGI) developed, tested, and refined a set of situational analysis tools with which to guide the assessment of breast health care capacity, identify the relative strengths and weaknesses of the health system, and support stakeholders in prioritizing actionable items to advance breast cancer care using evidence‐based strategies tailored to their setting. The tools address 6 domains of breast health care delivery: 1) breast cancer early detection practices; 2) breast cancer awareness programs; 3) the availability of breast cancer surgery; 4) the availability of pathology; 5) the availability of radiotherapy, and 6) the availability of systemic therapy services. The current study also describes the more comprehensive International Atomic Energy Agency Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT) integrated missions for PACT (imPACT) review.


As of 2020, 5 formal BHGI situational analyses have been performed in India, Brazil, Panama, Tanzania, and Uganda. As of August 2019, a total of 100 imPACT reviews have been conducted in 91 countries. These assessments can contribute to more informed policymaking.


Situational analyses are a prerequisite for the development of resource‐appropriate strategies with which to advance breast cancer control in any setting and should assess services across the entire breast health care continuum as well as the broader structural, sociocultural, personal, and financial contexts within which they operate.

**This abstract is posted with permission under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License**