Diagnostic Invasiveness and Psychosocial Consequences of False-Positive Mammography

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PURPOSE: We undertook a study to assess whether women with false-positivemammography have worse psychosocial consequences if managed with aworkup that involves a biopsy (invasive group) than if managed with only additional imaging (noninvasive group).

METHODS: We performed subgroup analysis of a cohort study of 454 womenwith abnormal screening mammography and 908 matched control women withnormal results. Using a condition-specific questionnaire (Consequences of Screening in Breast Cancer), we assessed 12 psychosocial consequences at 5 time points (0, 1, 6, 18, and 36 months after final diagnosis) and compared the 2 groups of women with false-positives (invasive and noninvasive management groups).

RESULTS: Among the 252 women with false-positive mammography eligible forthis study, psychosocial consequences were similar for those managed invasivelyand those managed noninvasively during the 36 months of follow-up. In 60comparisons (12 scales and 5 time points), differences between the groups werenever statistically significant (P <.01) and the point estimates for the differenceswere always close to zero. The psychosocial consequences of women with false positive results, regardless of management, fell between those of women withnormal mammography and those of women determined to have breast cancer.

CONCLUSIONS: We found no evidence that use of more invasive diagnosticswas associated with worse psychosocial consequences. It is therefore reasonableto pool subgroups of women with false-positives in a single analysis. Theinvasiveness of subsequent diagnostic procedures does not help to identifywomen at higher risk for adverse psychosocial consequences of false-positivemammography.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAnnals of Family Medicine
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)242-249
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - May 2015

ID: 149037373