Psychological consequences of false-positive screening mammograms in the UK

Bond, Mary, Pavey, Toby, Welch, Karen, Cooper, Chris, Garside, Ruth, Dean, Sarah and Hyde, Christopher J. (2012) Psychological consequences of false-positive screening mammograms in the UK. Evidence Based Medicine, Article in press . doi:10.1136/eb-2012-100608

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Author Bond, Mary
Pavey, Toby
Welch, Karen
Cooper, Chris
Garside, Ruth
Dean, Sarah
Hyde, Christopher J.
Title Psychological consequences of false-positive screening mammograms in the UK
Journal name Evidence Based Medicine   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1356-5524
Publication date 2012-08-23
Year available 2012
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1136/eb-2012-100608
Volume Article in press
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher B M J
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objectives: To identify the psychological effects of false-positive screening mammograms in the UK.

Methods: Systematic review of all controlled studies and qualitative studies of women with a false-positive screening mammogram. The control group participants had normal mammograms. All psychological outcomes including returning for routine screening were permitted. All studies had a narrative synthesis.

Results: The searches returned seven includable studies (7/4423). Heterogeneity was such that meta-analysis was not possible. Studies using disease-specific measures found that, compared to normal results, there could be enduring psychological distress that lasted up to 3 years; the level of distress was related to the degree of invasiveness of the assessment. At 3 years the relative risks were, further mammography, 1.28 (95% CI 0.82 to 2.00), fine needle aspiration 1.80 (95% CI 1.17 to 2.77), biopsy 2.07 (95% CI 1.22 to 3.52) and early recall 1.82 (95% CI 1.22 to 2.72). Studies that used generic measures of anxiety and depression found no such impact up to 3 months after screening. Evidence suggests that women with false-positive mammograms have an increased likelihood of failing to reattend for routine screening, relative risk 0.97 (95% CI 0.96 to 0.98) compared with women with normal mammograms.

Conclusions: Having a false-positive screening mammogram can cause breast cancer-specific distress for up to 3 years. The degree of distress is related to the invasiveness of the assessment. Women with false-positive mammograms are less likely to return for routine assessment than those with normal ones.
Keyword False-positive
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Non HERDC
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences Publications
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Created: Tue, 08 Jan 2013, 12:13:05 EST by Toby Pavey on behalf of School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences