Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Immediate mammogram reading may decrease stress associated with abnormal results

07.04.2004


Women who receive the results of their screening mammograms immediately after their examination have less stress and anxiety compared with women who have to wait several days for their test results, according to a study in the April 7 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Surprisingly, however, an educational intervention that taught skills to cope with anxiety was not associated with decreased anxiety among a similar group of women.



In the United States, 5% to 11% of all screening mammograms result in a recommendation for follow-up to eliminate the possibility of breast cancer, and of those recommended for follow-up, 95% will turn out to be false-positives (abnormal mammograms that do not result in a breast cancer diagnosis within 1 year). Women who are told they have an abnormal mammogram and need a follow-up evaluation often experience anxiety and distress, even when further evaluation does not find breast cancer.

To study ways to help decrease the anxiety and stress associated with abnormal mammograms, Mary B. Barton, M.D., of Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Boston, and colleagues evaluated the psychological status of women undergoing screening mammograms who received one of two interventions, both interventions, or no intervention. One intervention consisted of providing women with a video and a pamphlet during their office visit that explained breast cancer risk, the reasons for abnormal mammograms, and coping strategies for dealing with the results. The second intervention involved the immediate reading of the mammograms by a radiologist so that any follow-up tests needed (except for a biopsy) could be conducted immediately in the same office visit.


There were 6801 (80%) women who had normal mammograms and 1742 (20%) women who had abnormal mammograms that were later classified as false-positives. (Women who were diagnosed with breast cancer as a result of their screening mammogram were excluded from the study.) Three weeks after their mammograms, 50% of women who had a false-positive reading reported having symptoms of anxiety about the mammogram, compared with 28% of women with normal mammograms. Overall, 3 months after their mammograms, women who had false-positive mammograms still had an elevated level of anxiety.

Three weeks after their mammogram, women with false-positive readings who received the results of their mammogram immediately reported less anxiety than women who had to wait several days to receive their results. Furthermore, more than half of these women reported that their mammogram had been normal, which suggests, the authors say, that the immediate completion of follow-up may have minimized the effect of a false-positive reading to the extent that they never perceived their mammogram as being abnormal.

In contrast, women with false-positive results who were given the educational intervention did not report less stress or anxiety than women who did not receive the educational materials. "Our finding that the radiology intervention was associated with less anxiety than the educational intervention indicates that rapid evaluation of mammographic abnormalities may be a more effective approach to decreasing women’s anxieties than trying to change emotional reactions to an abnormal mammogram," the authors write.


Contact: John Lacey, Harvard Medical School, 617-432-0441, John_Lacey@hms.harvard.edu

Citation:
Barton MB, Morley DS, Moore S, Allen JD, Kleinman KP, Emmons KM, Fletcher SW. Decreasing women’s anxieties after abnormal mammograms: a controlled trial. J Natl Cancer Inst 2004;96:529–38.

Katherine Arnold | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://jncicancerspectrum.oupjournals.org/

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Sibling differences: Later-borns choose less prestigious programs at university
14.11.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für demografische Forschung

nachricht Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ
09.11.2017 | Vanderbilt University

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Optical Nanoscope Allows Imaging of Quantum Dots

Physicists have developed a technique based on optical microscopy that can be used to create images of atoms on the nanoscale. In particular, the new method allows the imaging of quantum dots in a semiconductor chip. Together with colleagues from the University of Bochum, scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute reported the findings in the journal Nature Photonics.

Microscopes allow us to see structures that are otherwise invisible to the human eye. However, conventional optical microscopes cannot be used to image...

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rutgers scientists discover 'Legos of life'

23.01.2018 | Life Sciences

Seabed mining could destroy ecosystems

23.01.2018 | Earth Sciences

Transportable laser

23.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>