Two barriers that cause patients to forgo necessary screening are shame due to body image and getting weighed in the office. Many pap smears, skin checks, colonoscopies, and mammograms for cancer screening don’t occur for these reasons.
Years ago, I knew a gynecologist who sent letters to her patients who had been no-shows or canceled their appointments in the past 12 to 18 months. She wrote in her letter that she would like them to make an appointment for their gynecologic pelvic exam, and emphasized that she would NOT be weighing them or discussing their weight during the visit. Suddenly her phone started ringing, and she even had to extend her office hours to accommodate everyone within a reasonable time frame.