Article

Nonrecommended breast and colorectal cancer screening for young women: a vignette-based survey.

Department of Family Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA.
American journal of preventive medicine (Impact Factor: 4.24). 09/2012; 43(3):231-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2012.05.022
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Little is known about the prevalence of physicians offering nonrecommended breast or colorectal cancer screening for young women.
The goal of the current paper was to examine the percentage of primary care physicians nationally who self-report offering breast or colorectal cancer screening tests for young women, and physician/practice characteristics associated with such recommendations.
Analysis was performed in 2011 on data from a 2008 cross-sectional survey presenting a vignette of a health maintenance visit by an asymptomatic woman aged 35 years. This study included surveys sent to 1546 U.S. family physicians, general internists, and obstetrician-gynecologists aged <65 years, randomly selected from the AMA Physician Masterfile (60.6% response rate). Relevant respondent subsamples were used for the breast (n=505) and colorectal (n=721) cancer screening analyses. Responses were weighted to represent physicians nationally. The main outcome was physician self-report of offering breast or colorectal cancer screening tests.
75.3% (95% CI =71.0%, 79.2%) of physicians offered breast cancer screening tests; most commonly these physicians reported offering mammography alone (76.5%, 95% CI= 71.6%, 80.8%). A total of 39.3% (95% CI=35.5%, 43.2%) of physicians offered colorectal cancer screening tests; most commonly these physicians reported offering FOBT alone (43.3%, 95% CI=37.2%, 49.6%). In adjusted analysis, physician factors associated with offering breast and colorectal cancer screening tests were: estimating higher patient breast/colorectal cancer risk, and not listing the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force as a top influential organization.
A high percentage of physicians report offering nonrecommended breast or colorectal cancer screening tests for young women. Physicians' higher cancer-risk estimation accounted for some overscreening, but even physicians who estimated the patient to be at the same risk as the general population reported offering nonrecommended screening tests.

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