Physician Adherence to U.S. preventive services task force mammography guidelines

Jennifer Corbelli, Sonya Borrero, Rachel Bonnema, Megan McNamara, Kevin Kraemer, Doris Rubio, Irina Karpov, Melissa McNeil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Background: In 2009, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) guidelines for screening mammography changed significantly, and are now in direct conflict with screening guidelines of other major national organizations. The extent to which physicians in different primary care specialties adhere to current USPSTF guidelines is unknown. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional web-based survey completed by 316 physicians in internal medicine, family medicine (FM), and gynecology (GYN) from February to April 2012. Survey items assessed respondents' breast cancer screening recommendations in women of different ages at average risk for breast cancer. We used descriptive statistics to generate response distribution for survey items, and logistic regression models to compare responses among specialties. Findings: The response rate was 55.0% (316/575). A majority of providers in internal medicine (65%), FM (64%), and GYN (92%) recommended breast cancer screening starting at age 40 versus 50. A majority of providers in internal medicine (77%), FM (74%), and GYN (98%) recommended annual versus biennial screening. Gynecologists were significantly more likely than both internists and family physicians to recommend initial mammography at age 40 (p ≤ .0001) and yearly mammography (p= .0003). There were no other differences by respondent demographic. Conclusions: Primary care providers, especially gynecologists, have not implemented USPSTF guidelines. The extent to which these findings may be driven by patient versus provider preferences should be explored. These findings suggest that patients are likely to receive conflicting breast cancer screening recommendations from different providers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E313-E319
JournalWomen's Health Issues
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Maternity and Midwifery


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