Rationale and Objectives: The objective of this study was to evaluate the association of communication practices with timely follow-up of screening mammograms read as Breast Imaging Reporting and Data Systems (BI-RADS) 0 in the Population-based Research Optimizing Screening through Personalized Regimens (PROSPR) consortium. Materials and Methods: A radiology facility survey was conducted in 2015 with responses linked to screening mammograms obtained in 2011-2014. We considered timely follow-up to be within 15 days of the screening mammogram. Generalized estimating equation models were used to evaluate the association between modes of communication with patients and providers and timely follow-up, adjusting for PROSPR site, patient age, and race and ethnicity. Results: The analysis included 34,680 mammography examinations with a BI-RADS 0 assessment among 28 facilities. Across facilities, 85.6% of examinations had a follow-up within 15 days. Patients in a facility where routine practice was to contact the patient by phone if follow-up imaging was recommended were more likely to have timely follow-up (odds ratio [OR] 4.63, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.76-7.76), whereas standard use of mail was associated with reduced timely follow-up (OR 0.47, 95% CI 0.30-0.75). Facilities that had standard use of electronic medical records to report the need for follow-up imaging to a provider had less timely follow-up (OR 0.56, 95% CI 0.35-0.90). Facilities that routinely contacted patients by mail if they missed a follow-up imaging visit were more likely to have timely follow-up (OR 1.65, 95% CI 1.02-2.69). Conclusions: Our findings support the value of telephone communication to patients in relation to timely follow-up. Future research is needed to evaluate the role of communication in completing the breast cancer screening episode.
- Screening mammography
- Timely follow-up
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging