Healthcare Professionals' Perceptions and Knowledge of the USPSTF Guidelines on Breast Self-Examination
In 2009, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) published revised guidelines for breast cancer screening, which recommended against teaching breast self-examination (BSE). The objective of this study was to assess providers' perceptions and knowledge regarding these updated guidelines.
A cross-sectional survey study was administered to 205 attending and resident physicians, nurse practitioners, physician's assistants, and registered nurses working in five medical and gynecological practices affiliated with a large academic teaching hospital in western Massachusetts. The survey solicited demographic data and inquired about practitioners' perceptions and knowledge of the revised guidelines.
Fewer than half (41.1%) of respondents correctly identified the new USPSTF guidelines for BSE. Among those who stated they were aware of guidelines, only 37.1% adhered to them. Overall, 70% report that they teach patients to perform BSE. Teaching BSE was associated with female sex (odds ratio [OR] 2.64, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.11-6.29), a belief that BSE reduces morbidity and mortality (OR 2.91, 95% CI 1.08-7.81), and internal medicine residency (OR 0.18, 95% CI 0.06-0.59).
Knowledge of the 2009 USPSTF guidelines is suboptimal and greater efforts should be made to educate healthcare professionals about them.
Loh KP, Stefan MS, Friderici J, Tan EK, Ogunneye O, Kleppel R, Stewart JA. Healthcare Professionals' Perceptions and Knowledge of the USPSTF Guidelines on Breast Self-Examination. South Med J. 2015 Aug;108(8):459-62.