Personal invitations for population-based breast cancer screening

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RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES: Women who are invited for breast cancer screening should get enough information about the benefits and harms of screening to make an informed decision on participation. Personal invitations are an important source of information, because all invited women receive them. The objective of this study was to evaluate the information breast cancer screening units send to women invited for screening in Finland. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A questionnaire was sent to all breast cancer screening units in Finland in 2005 and 2008, and the information (eg, invitations, results letters, leaflets) the units sent to women was collected. Results from 2005 were sent as feedback to the units. Data were analyzed descriptively, and results from the 2 years were compared. RESULTS: Screening units sent personal invitation letters usually providing fixed appointment times. Most units informed about participation free of charge and the benefits of detecting breast cancer early. Harm associated with screening was seldom mentioned; no unit mentioned the possibility of false-negative results or overtreatment. CONCLUSION: The screening units provided very variable information, which often was biased toward optimizing participation. The high participation rate (approximately 88%) in Finland may be due partly to the prescriptive nature of the invitation letters. National templates for information letters would be useful.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAcademic Radiology
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)546-50
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2010

ID: 20945694