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Can Fam Physician. 2012 Jan;58(1):e47-53.

Breast cancer screening practices for women aged 35 to 49 and 70 and older.

Author information

  • 1Université de Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada. Nabila.kadaoui@usherbrooke.ca

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To describe physician practices with regard to opportunistic screening for breast cancer in women aged 35 to 49 years and 70 years of age and older, and to identify the determinants associated with the practice of prescribing screening mammography.

DESIGN:

Postal survey.

SETTING:

Quebec.

PARTICIPANTS:

Simple random sample of 1400 general practitioners practising in Quebec in 2009.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Five cancer screening practices among 4 types of female clientele and the factors influencing physicians in their practice of prescribing screening mammography.

RESULTS:

The response rate was 36%. For women aged 35 to 49 years, more than 80% of physicians reported using practices judged adequate, except for the teaching of breast self-examination and referrals to genetic counseling (60% and 54%). For women 70 years of age and older with good life expectancy, only 50% of general practitioners prescribed screening mammography. For the 70 years of age and older age group without good life expectancy, for whom screening is not indicated, nearly half of physicians continued to do the clinical breast examination and more than one-third reviewed family history. The main determinants for the practice of prescribing mammography are a favourable attitude to screening, screening skills, peer support, belief in the efficacy of mammography, and sufficient knowledge of the issue and of recommendations.

CONCLUSION:

Improvements are needed in the practice of teaching breast self-examination to women aged 35 to 49 years and referring them to genetic counseling, as well as in prescribing mammography for women 70 years of age and older who are in good health. Public health actions to improve these practices should focus on physician attitudes and skills and on communicating clearer recommendations.

PMID:
22267639
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3264038
Free PMC Article
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