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J Gen Intern Med. 2018 Oct;33(10):1805-1814. doi: 10.1007/s11606-018-4576-6. Epub 2018 Jul 20.

Key Elements of Mammography Shared Decision-Making: a Scoping Review of the Literature.

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School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA.
School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA.
Ebling Library for the Health Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA.
Health Decision Support, Inc., Madison, WI, USA.



New guidelines recommend shared decision-making (SDM) for women and their clinician in consideration of breast cancer screening, particularly for women ages 35-50 where guidelines for routine mammography are controversial. A number of models offer general guidelines for SDM across clinical practice, yet they do not offer specific guidance about conducting SDM in mammography. We conducted a scoping review of the literature to identify the key elements of breast cancer screening SDM and synthesize these key elements for utilization by primary care clinicians.


The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews; Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL Plus); PsycInfo, PubMed (MEDLINE), Scopus, and SocIndex databases were searched. Inclusion criteria were original studies from peer-reviewed publications (from 2009 or later) reporting breast cancer screening (mammography), medical decision-making, and patient-centered care. Study populations needed to include female patients 18+ years of age facing a real-life breast cancer screening decision. Article findings were specific to shared decision-making and/or use of a decision aid. Data extracted includes study design, population, setting, intervention, and critical findings related to breast cancer screening SDM elements. Scoping analysis includes descriptive analysis of study features and content analysis to identify the SDM key elements.


Twenty-four articles were retained. Three thematic categories of key elements emerged from the extracted elements: information delivery/patient education (specific content and delivery modes), interpersonal clinician-patient communication (aspects of interpersonal relationship impacting SDM), and framework of the decision (sociocultural factors beyond direct SDM deliberation). A number of specific breast cancer screening SDM elements relevant to primary care clinical practice are delineated.


The findings underscore the importance of the relationship between the patient and clinician and the necessity of spelling out each step in the SDM process. The clinician needs to be explicit in telling a woman that she has a choice about whether to get a mammogram and the benefits and harms of screening mammography. Finally, clinicians need to be aware of sociocultural factors that can influence their relationships and their patients' decision-making processes and attempt to identify and address these factors.


breast cancer screening; health communication; mammography; patient-centered care; primary care; shared decision-making; women’s health

[Available on 2019-10-01]

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