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Radiology. 1997 May;203(2):335-8.

Screening mammography: effect of national guidelines on current physician practice.

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1
Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston 02114, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To evaluate the effect of national breast cancer screening guidelines on current physician attitudes toward and practice of screening mammography.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Questionnaire responses from 278 physicians were analyzed. The questionnaire had four sections: general information on physician practice and experience, current use of breast cancer screening, perceptions of screening mammography, and physician awareness of and response to the controversy in breast cancer screening.

RESULTS:

In women aged 40-49 years, 144 (52%) of 278 physicians performed annual clinical breast examination and screening mammography every 2 years; 57 (21%) favored annual mammography and clinical breast examination. In women aged 50 years and older, 232 (83%) physicians screened patients annually with clinical breast examination and mammography. Two hundred seventeen (78%) physicians were aware of the recommended changes in screening guidelines; 54 (19%) were not aware of the changes. Of those aware of the changes, 56 (26%) changed to the new guidelines, 150 (69%) did not change, and six (3%) modified their practice somewhat.

CONCLUSION:

Physician practice as regards screening mammography is influenced by national guidelines.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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