Informing patients of diagnostic mammography results: mammographer's opinions.
PURPOSE: The authors' purpose was to determine mammographers' practices and attitudes regarding disclosing results of diagnostic mammograms to patients. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In 1995, the authors mailed a questionnaire to 500 members of the Society of Breast Imaging; 399 (80%) responded to the survey. RESULTS: Three-quarters of respondents stated that mammographers should disclose results to their patients, and approximately half were already doing so (52% for normal results, 51% for abnormal results). A sizable minority (25%) said that not telling patients was the best practice and identified several barriers to direct disclosure, including lack of time. Although bivariate analysis showed direct disclosure to be more common among female mammographers, the sex difference did not persist in multivariate analysis. In both bivariate and multivariate analyses, reading more than 100 mammograms per week and having a radiology practice in a university or academic setting were each strongly associated with direct disclosure. CONCLUSION: Implementation of the Mammography Quality Standards Reauthorization Act of 1998 may not require a major change in mammographers' current practice. It remains critical to establish systems that help radiologists disclose results and communicate with referring physicians efficiently and effectively.
Braeuning, MP; Earp, JL; O'Brien, SM; Schell, MJ; Denham, AC; Pisano, ED; O'Malley, MS
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