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Acad Radiol. 1998 Nov;5(11):771-8.

Patient satisfaction with screening mammography: online vs off-line interpretation.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, University of Michigan Hospitals, Ann Arbor 48109-0326, USA.



The purpose of this study was to determine patient satisfaction with online and off-line methods of interpreting screening mammograms and to determine those characteristics that most influence patient preferences.


A survey consisting of 17 questions assessing satisfaction and demographics was distributed to women whose screening mammograms were read in one of two ways at the same facility: (a) the "online" method, in which all additional requested studies are completed and results are immediately communicated, and (b) the "off-line" method, in which mammograms are read in batches the next day, results are communicated at a later time, and patients return for diagnostic studies. To ensure statistical power, at least 174 surveys were collected from each group.


Of 192 women whose mammograms were interpreted online, 188 (97%) responded, and of 247 women whose mammograms were interpreted off-line, 181 (73%) responded. Overall mean satisfaction with the mammographic experience and with the time it took to receive results differed significantly between the two groups (P < .002). Analysis of the subgroup of very satisfied respondents disclosed that 92% of patients in the online group and 59% of patients in the off-line group were very satisfied with their mammography experience. If allowed to choose the method of interpretation, 97% of patients in the online group and 91% of patients in the off-line group would choose online interpretation.


Patients preferred online mammographic interpretation of screening studies.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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