Background:In the current study, mammography adherence of women who had experienced a false-positive referral is evaluated, with emphasis on the probability of receiving surveillance mammography outside the national screening programme.Methods:We included 424 703 consecutive screens and collected imaging, biopsy and surgery reports of 3463 women who experienced a false-positive referral. Adherence to screening, both in and outside the screening programme, was evaluated.Results:Two years after the false-positive referral, overall screening adherence was 94.6%, with 64.7% of women returning to the national screening programme, compared with 94.9% of women re-attending the screening programme after a negative screen (P<0.0001). Four years after the false-positive screen, the overall adherence had decreased to 85.2% (P<0.0001) with a similar proportion of the women re-attending the screening programme (64.4%) and a lower proportion (20.8%) having clinical surveillance mammography. Women who had experienced a false-positive screen at their first screening round were less likely to adhere to mammography than women with an abnormal finding at one of the following screening rounds (92.4% vs 95.5%, P<0.0001).Conclusion:Overall screening adherence after previous false-positive referral was comparable to the re-attendance rate of women with a negative screen at 2-year follow-up. Overall adherence decreased 4 years after previous false-positive referral from 94.6% to 85.2%, with a relatively high estimate of women who continue with clinical surveillance mammography (20.8%). Women with false-positive screens should be made aware of the importance to re-attend future screening rounds, as a way to improve the effectiveness of the screening programme.

false-positive referral, re-attendance, screening mammography,
British Journal of Cancer
Department of Pulmonology

Setz-Pels, W, Duijm, L.E.M, Coebergh, J.W.W, Rutten, M.J.C.M, Nederend, J, & Voogd, A.C. (2013). Re-attendance after false-positive screening mammography: A population-based study in the Netherlands. British Journal of Cancer, 109(8), 2044–2050. doi:10.1038/bjc.2013.573