Purpose: Assess ob-gyns’ opinions regarding Screening for Breast Cancer: USPSTF Recommendation Statement (referred to as The Statement) and number needed to treat for mammography.
Methods: A nationally-representative sample of 406 ob-gyns’ who are members of the Collaborative Ambulatory Research Network (CARN), a group that agrees to participant in 4-6 survey studies each year, were surveyed in early 2010. A 59.6% response rate was obtained, 211 indicated that they provided breast care and were included in the analysis.
Results: When asked if they read The Statement in the Annals of Internal Medicine (November 2009), 19.0% had read it thoroughly, 32.7% skimmed it, 16.9% read the abstract only, 25.1% had not read it, and 5.2% had not read, but plan to (1.9% did not answer the question). 56% think the number of mammograms will decrease because of The Statement and 44% think the number will stay the same. 88.2% support the Women’s Health Amendment (which provides coverage for preventive health) and 58.3% think the amendment was a necessary response to The Statement. When asked, “It is worth performing screening mammography on _____women in order to save one woman from dying from cancer,” 69.1% of the sample gave a numeric answer (Range = 1 to 500,000, Mean =5,872.69 (SD = 42,251.16), Median = 500, and Mode = 1000 (32.2% of the sample)) , 17.1% did not answer, and 13.8% wrote a text answer (most commonly “all” or “I don’t know”). There no differences on any of these variables by age, gender, practice site (solo, group, etc), practice setting (private, university, community), or the number of 40-49 year old patients they see.
Conclusions: Ob-gyns anticipate that The Statement would decrease mammography rates. Few had fully read The Statement. There is little consensus among ob-gyns about the number needed to treat for mammography.