Objective: To assess factors associated with patient satisfaction with communication of mammography results and their understanding and ability to recall these results.
Design: Cross-sectional telephone survey.
Setting: Academic breast imaging center.
Patients: Two hundred ninety-eight patients who had either a screening or diagnostic mammogram.
Measurements and main results: Survey items assessed waiting time for results, anxiety about results, satisfaction with several components of results reporting, and patients' understanding of results and recommendations. Women undergoing screening exams were more likely to be dissatisfied with the way the results were communicated than those who underwent diagnostic exams and received immediate results (20% vs 11%, P =.05). For these screening patients, waiting for more than two weeks for notification of results, difficulty getting in touch with someone to answer questions, low ratings of how clearly results were explained, and considerable or extreme anxiety about the results were all independently associated with dissatisfaction with the way the results were reported, while age and actual exam result were not.
Conclusions: Patients undergoing screening mammograms were more likely to be dissatisfied with the way the results were communicated than were those who underwent diagnostic mammograms. Interventions to reduce the wait time for results, reduce patients' anxiety, and improve the clarity with which the results and recommendations are given may help improve overall satisfaction with mammography result reporting.