Mammography Decision Aid Reduces Decisional Conflict for Women in Their Forties Considering Screening

J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2015 Dec;24(12):1013-20. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2015.5256. Epub 2015 Sep 11.


Background: Clinical guidelines recommend a personalized approach to mammography screening for women in their forties; however, methods to do so are lacking. An evidence-based mammography screening decision aid was developed as an electronic mobile application and evaluated in a before-after study.

Methods: The decision aid (Mammopad) included modules on breast cancer, mammography, risk assessment, and priority setting about screening. Women aged 40-49 years who were patients of rural primary care clinics, had no major risk factors for breast cancer, and no mammography during the previous year were invited to use the decision aid. Twenty women participated in pretesting of the decision aid and 75 additional women completed the before-after study. The primary outcome was decisional conflict measured before and after using Mammopad. Secondary outcomes included decision self-efficacy and intention to begin or continue mammography screening. Differences comparing measures before versus after use were determined using Wilcoxon signed rank tests.

Results: After using Mammopad, women reported reduced decisional conflict based on mean Decisional Conflict Scale scores overall (46.33 versus 8.33; Z = -7.225; p < 0.001) and on all subscales (p < 0.001). Women also reported increased mean Decision Self-Efficacy Scale scores (79.67 versus 95.73; Z = 6.816, p < 0.001). Although 19% of women changed their screening intentions, this was not statistically significant.

Conclusions: Women reported less conflict about their decisions for mammography screening, and felt more confident to make decisions after using Mammopad. This approach may help guide women through the decision making process to determine personalized screening choices that are appropriate for them.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology
  • Conflict, Psychological
  • Decision Making
  • Decision Support Techniques*
  • Early Detection of Cancer*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Intention
  • Mammography*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Participation*