Background: Guidelines recommend that women ages 50-75 years receive screening mammography every 1-2 years. We related receipt of physician recommendations for mammography and patient adherence to such recommendations to several patient characteristics.
Methods: We retrospectively reviewed medical records of 1,111 women ages 50-75 attending three clinics in an urban university medical center. We ascertained overall compliance with mammography guidelines and two components of compliance: receipt of a physician recommendation and adherence to a recommendation. Outcome measures were the proportion of patients demonstrating each type of compliance and adjusted odds ratios, according to several patient-related characteristics.
Results: Overall, 66% of women received a recommendation. Of women receiving a documented recommendation, 75% adhered. Factors showing significant positive associations with receiving a recommendation included being a patient in the general internal medicine clinic, having private insurance, visiting the clinic more often, and having a recent Pap smear. Patient adherence was positively associated with private insurance and Pap smear history, negatively associated with internal medicine, and not associated with visit frequency.
Conclusions: Patient factors influencing physician mammography recommendations may be different from those associated with patient adherence, except for having private health insurance, which was a predictor of both.
Copyright 1999 American Health Foundation and Academic Press.