Publication Abstract

Authors: Roberts C, Turnbull D, Irwig L

Title: The impact of a screening mammography program on Sydney general practitioners.

Journal: Aust J Public Health 16(1):58-65

Date: 1992 Mar

Abstract: The aim of this study was to determine changes in Sydney general practitioners' (GPs) knowledge about, attitude towards and intention to recommend screening mammography over the two years since a screening mammography program was first implemented in the Central Sydney Health Service (CSHS) area. 123 GPs from the CSHS area were selected from a list maintained by the Breast X-ray Programme, while 127 GPs from the rest of Sydney were selected from the Yellow Pages telephone directory. The overall response rate was 84 per cent. Outcomes were assessed by a self-administered questionnaire covering knowledge, attitudes and beliefs, self-report of recent referral practice, intention to recommend, and sources of information about mammography screening. Demographic data were also collected. Results showed that overall knowledge has increased both inside and outside the CSHS area, but important deficiencies in knowledge remain in both areas. Attitudes to screening mammography have improved in the CSHS area, especially regarding the efficacy of screening mammography and patient compliance. Importantly, positive views of screening mammography have declined outside the CSHS area, especially about whether screening mammography can save women's lives. GPs in both areas remain concerned about costs. The presence and strategies of the Breast X-ray Programme have had some positive effect on the attitudes of GPs towards, but not knowledge of, screening mammography.