Background: This study assessed the effects of a reminder letter from a physician (relative to a mammography facility letter or no letter) on appointment compliance among women 50-74 years of age due for an annual screening mammogram.
Methods: A total of 1,562 women were randomly as signed to the groups. Each Group 1 subject received a reminder letter from her physician, each Group 2 subject received a reminder letter from her mammography facility, and Group 3 served as a control group.
Results: The return rates for Groups 1, 2, and 3 were 47.7, 46.6, and 28.3%, respectively; the overall difference was significant using a chi(2) analysis (P < 0.001). Bonferroni pairwise comparisons indicated no difference between Groups 1 and 2 but significant differences (P < 0.001) between Group 3 and the other two groups. Logistic regression indicated that relative to Group 3, the adjusted odds of returning for Groups 1 and 2 were 2.37 and 2.24, respectively.
Conclusions: Mammography providers and their patients likely will benefit from in-reach reminder systems. Physicians who do not use reminder systems should refer their patients to facilities that use these systems.
Copyright 2000 American Health Foundation and Academic Press.