Physician interest in breast cancer screening education. A survey of Vermont family physicians

J Fam Pract. 1989 Sep;29(3):281-5.


A mailed survey of 141 Vermont family physicians (74% participating) was conducted to determine their breast cancer screening practices and beliefs and their interest in receiving training in breast cancer screening. Of these, only 12% reported that at least three fourths of their female patients older than 50 years received mammograms at least once a year, compared with 33% who reported providing breast self-examination instruction and 35% who administered clinical breast examination with at least three fourths of these patients at least once a year. Nevertheless, 55% of the physicians rated mammography as a very effective breast-screening procedure; 28% rated breast self-examination and 16% rated clinical breast examination as very effective. Three fourths of the physicians showed great interest in learning more about breast palpation, breast self-examination instruction, and mammography. Individual instruction in the office was preferred over a group workshop format, and a trained nonphysician health professional was considered as acceptable as a physician to provide the instruction. Results suggest that breast cancer screening education for family physicians is a high priority, and that physicians will welcome such training, particularly if it is office-based.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Breast
  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Education, Medical, Continuing*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammography / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Palpation
  • Physicians, Family / psychology*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vermont