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Arch Intern Med. 1996 Apr 8;156(7):741-4.

As mammography use increases, are some providers omitting clinical breast examination?

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  • 1Evans Department of Medicine, Boston University Medical Center Hospital, Mass, USA.



To explore use of clinical breast examination (CBE) among women receiving mammography.


A retrospective cohort analysis of 100 women aged 50 years or older with at least one bilateral mammogram. Chart review documented demographic information, severity of illness, and performance of CBE (from 1 year prior to 18 months after the mammogram).


The mean age of the 100 women was 63 years. They were predominantly unmarried (60%), nonwhite (58%), and not currently employed (57%). Three quarters (76%) had mammography and CBE (comprehensive screening), while the remaining 24% had mammography only. Sociodemographic factors did not differ for women with and without comprehensive screening (P>.1). However, patients of female providers were more likely to receive comprehensive screening than patients of male providers. Specifically, 95% of women seen by female attending physicians or fellows had comprehensive screening vs 67% for male attending physicians or fellows and 61% for residents (P=.008).


Mammography may be replacing CBE especially among patients of male providers. Interventions targeted to these providers could help improve the use of CBE and mammography.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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