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    ABSTRACT: To assess primary care providers' communication about breast cancer risk. We evaluated 86 primary care providers' communication of risk using unannounced standardized (simulated) patients. Physicians were randomly assigned to receive one of three cases: (1) moderate risk case (n = 25), presenting with a breast lump and mother with postmenopausal breast cancer; (2) high-risk (maternal side) case (n = 28), presenting with concern about breast cancer risk; and (3) high-risk (paternal side) case (n = 33), presenting with an unrelated problem. After the appointment, three qualitative parameters were assessed by standardized patients on a 3-point scale (3 = highest satisfaction, 1 = lowest): whether the physician took adequate time; acknowledged her concerns; and offered reassurance. Mean satisfaction with physician communication was higher for the moderate risk case (2.92) than for the high-risk paternal case (2.25) or high-risk maternal case (2.42) (P < 0.0001). The score was not influenced by session length, medical specialty, or physician gender. Physicians more consistently provided a moderate risk standardized patients with reassurance and support compared with the high-risk cases. Primary care physicians may be more unprepared or uneasy addressing the issues raised by more complex scenarios and may benefit from training in the assessment and communication of breast cancer risk.
    Genetics in medicine: official journal of the American College of Medical Genetics 08/2009; 11(10):735-41. DOI:10.1097/GIM.0b013e3181b2e5eb · 6.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Women need to be adequately informed about risk factors and risk reduction strategies for breast cancer to seek optimal primary prevention care. The aim of this study was to determine the amount and content of written information published by Belgian health services and related to primary prevention of breast cancer. We collected all available French language brochures and leaflets related to breast cancer primary prevention and analyzed which risk factors and risk reduction strategies were mentioned. Risk factors and prevention strategies were seldom mentioned. Among the 21 selected leaflets, pertinent to the patient, alcohol was mentioned in eight leaflets; age and genetic predisposition in five; overweight/obesity, personal history of breast cancer, and exercise in four; hormonal treatment in three; family history in two; earlier high-risk benign lesions in one, and ethnicity, breast density, and earlier chest radiation therapy in none. Lifestyle modifications were described in nine, but not one mentioned chemoprevention and risk reduction surgeries. As breast cancer risk reduction now represents an achievable medical objective for women, available written information to women must be improved to help them make an informed choice regarding risk reduction strategies.
    European journal of cancer prevention: the official journal of the European Cancer Prevention Organisation (ECP) 01/2010; 19(1):68-70. DOI:10.1097/CEJ.0b013e32830c8dba · 2.76 Impact Factor