Objectives: Healthcare provider recommendation for mammography is one of the strongest predictors of women's mammography use, but few studies have examined the association of provider characteristics with mammography recommendations. We examined the relationship of provider gender, age, medical specialty, and duration of relationship with the patient to report mammography recommendation. Methods: Participants were women ages 40-45 and 50-55 who were part of a larger intervention study of decision making about mammography. We examined the relationship of provider characteristics to patient-reported mammography recommendations at baseline and at 24-month follow-up. Results: At baseline, 74% of women in their 40s and 79% of women in their 50s reported provider mammography recommendations within the prior 2 years. Proportions were similar at the 24-month follow-up. In multivariate logistic regression models including both patient and provider characteristics, women in their 40s who had female providers were more likely to report mammography recommendations than those with male providers at baseline (OR=1.83, p=0.01) and follow-up (OR=1.74, p=0.03). Among women in their 50s, participants whose regular providers were primary care physicians were more likely to report recommendations at baseline than those whose regular providers were obstetrician/gynecologists (OR=1.68, p=0.03). Conclusions: About one fourth of women in this study reported not having been advised by a healthcare provider to have a mammogram. All women in the study had health insurance. Among women in their 40s, for whom mammography guidelines were controversial at the time of data collection, provider gender was an important predictor of patient-reported mammography recommendation.
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