Effect of False-Positive Mammogram on Screening Compliance

June 14, 2016

Did false-positive mammograms deter women from undergoing future breast cancer screening per guidelines?

False-positive mammograms do not deter women from undergoing future screening, according a study published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Researchers from the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Auroraperformed a retrospective cohort study to assess if women who received false-positive mammograms would continue with testing in line with screening mammography guidelines, compared with women who had negative mammograms. They looked for differences in time between mammograms by prior recall status, after adjusting for exam location (outpatient office or a mobile unit), and age.

The researchers assessed data from women who were older than 40 who received 9,385 consecutive, nonbaseline screening mammograms between December 1, 2012 and December 31, 2013. They evaluated the association between compliance with screening guidelines and the recall status on prior mammogram, and compared by location the proportions of noncompliant women who were recalled from prior mammogram.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_crop","fid":"49432","attributes":{"alt":"Breast screening","class":"media-image media-image-right","id":"media_crop_3787265659229","media_crop_h":"0","media_crop_image_style":"-1","media_crop_instance":"5963","media_crop_rotate":"0","media_crop_scale_h":"0","media_crop_scale_w":"0","media_crop_w":"0","media_crop_x":"0","media_crop_y":"0","style":"height: 145px; width: 170px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; margin: 1px; float: right;","title":"©Sam 72/Shutterstock.com","typeof":"foaf:Image"}}]]

The results showed that the time between mammograms did not differ based on prior recall status and there was no association between compliance with screening mammography guidelines and recall status on prior mammogram. The researchers noted that women who were noncompliant were more likely to undergo mammography at the outpatient office rather than the mobile unit.

The researchers concluded that prior false-positive mammograms were not a significant deterrent to compliance with screening guidelines in those women who return for screening.