Publication Abstract

Authors: Beemsterboer PM, de Koning HJ, Looman CW, Borsboom GJ, Bartelds AI, van der Maas PJ

Title: Mammography requests in general practice during the introduction of nationwide breast cancer screening, 1988-1995.

Journal: Eur J Cancer 35(3):450-4

Date: 1999 Mar

Abstract: Introducing an organised breast cancer screening programme for certain age groups in a population might induce opportunistic screening in adjacent (non-invited) age groups and influence health behaviour in the target population. We analysed the effect of the start of the Dutch national screening programme on the number of mammographies requested by 43-45 general practices for the age groups 30-39, 40-49, 50-69 and 70+ years, using logistic regression analysis. In all age groups an immediate increase was observed in the number of mammography requests after the start of the screening, which was largest and statistically significant in the target population of the screening programme (age 50-69 years). More than 2 years after the start of screening, the number of mammography requests in all age groups had decreased to the level before the start and in the age group 50-69 years the number of mammographies was significantly lower than before the screening started. The unexpected increase in mammographies after the start of the breast cancer screening programme might be related to registry problems or to the process of building up the screening programme. Eventually there was a decrease in the number of mammographies in the target population, probably an effect of the introduction of the national screening programme. Opportunistic screening was not clearly demonstrated in adjacent age groups.