Improving mammography recommendation: a nurse-initiated intervention

J Am Board Fam Pract. 1990 Apr-Jun;3(2):87-92.


We attempted to improve our compliance with recommendations for screening mammography, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS) guidelines, for eligible women patients seen by family practice residents by using a multipart intervention designed to eliminate identified barriers of knowledge and behavior on the part of the residents. Copies of the ACS cancer screening guidelines were posted in all examination and conference rooms and were provided to all residents. The intervention addressing the behavioral barriers had three components: (1) identification by the nursing staff of eligible women who were overdue for a mammogram as they presented for care, (2) completion of a checklist by residents indicating whether a mammogram was or was not recommended and why, and (3) a nurse-initiated backup reminder system for patients who escaped the primary checklist system. An audit of 200 preintervention and 270 postintervention charts showed statistically and clinically significant increases in mammograms recommended or done. Similar statistically significant increases were found in a cohort of 111 charts of patients in both the pre- and the postintervention audits. Results indicate that an intervention designed to eliminate identified resident-dependent barriers to compliance with screening mammography guidelines can be effective in increasing recommended mammography rates.

MeSH terms

  • Appointments and Schedules
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Community
  • Hospitals, Urban
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency
  • Mammography
  • Medical Audit
  • Middle Aged
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / statistics & numerical data
  • Physicians, Family / education*
  • Physicians, Family / psychology
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'