Increased short-term anxiety was seen in women who had mammograms with false-positive results, and more women with such results reported that they were more likely to undergo future breast cancer screening.
Author: Anna N.A. Tosteson, Sc.D., of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, Lebanon, N.H., and colleagues.
Background: A portion of women who undergo routine mammogram screening will experience false-positive results and require further evaluation to rule out breast cancer.
Results: Among women with a false-positive mammogram, 50.6 percent reported anxiety as moderate or higher and as extreme by 4.6 percent. But that did not affect plans by women to undergo screening within the next two years. More women with false-positive results (25.7 percent) compared with women with negative results (14.2 percent) said they were "more likely" to undergo future breast cancer screening.
Discussion: "Our finding of time-limited harm after false-positive screening mammograms is relevant for clinicians who counsel women on mammographic screening and for screening guideline development groups."