Evaluation of radiographers' mammography screen-reading accuracy in Australia

Josephine C. Debono, Ann E. Poulos, Nehmat Houssami, Robin M. Turner, John Boyages

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: This study aimed to evaluate the accuracy of radiographers' screen-reading mammograms. Currently, radiologist workforce shortages may be compromising the BreastScreen Australia screening program goal to detect early breast cancer. The solution to a similar problem in the United Kingdom has successfully encouraged radiographers to take on the role as one of two screen-readers. Prior to consideration of this strategy in Australia, educational and experiential differences between radiographers in the United Kingdom and Australia emphasise the need for an investigation of Australian radiographers' screen-reading accuracy. Methods: Ten radiographers employed by the Westmead Breast Cancer Institute with a range of radiographic (median = 28 years), mammographic (median = 13 years) and BreastScreen (median = 8 years) experience were recruited to blindly and independently screen-read an image test set of 500 mammograms, without formal training. The radiographers indicated the presence of an abnormality using BI-RADS®. Accuracy was determined by comparison with the gold standard of known outcomes of pathology results, interval matching and client 6-year follow-up. Results: Individual sensitivity and specificity levels ranged between 76.0% and 92.0%, and 74.8% and 96.2% respectively. Pooled screen-reader accuracy across the radiographers estimated sensitivity as 82.2% and specificity as 89.5%. Areas under the reading operating characteristic curve ranged between 0.842 and 0.923. Conclusions: This sample of radiographers in an Australian setting have adequate accuracy levels when screen-reading mammograms. It is expected that with formal screen-reading training, accuracy levels will improve, and with support, radiographers have the potential to be one of the two screen-readers in the BreastScreen Australia program, contributing to timeliness and improved program outcomes.

LanguageEnglish
Pages15-22
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Medical Radiation Sciences
Volume62
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015

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Mammography
Reading
Breast Neoplasms
Pathology
Sensitivity and Specificity
United Kingdom

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2015. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Cite this

Debono, Josephine C. ; Poulos, Ann E. ; Houssami, Nehmat ; Turner, Robin M. ; Boyages, John. / Evaluation of radiographers' mammography screen-reading accuracy in Australia. In: Journal of Medical Radiation Sciences. 2015 ; Vol. 62, No. 1. pp. 15-22.
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abstract = "Introduction: This study aimed to evaluate the accuracy of radiographers' screen-reading mammograms. Currently, radiologist workforce shortages may be compromising the BreastScreen Australia screening program goal to detect early breast cancer. The solution to a similar problem in the United Kingdom has successfully encouraged radiographers to take on the role as one of two screen-readers. Prior to consideration of this strategy in Australia, educational and experiential differences between radiographers in the United Kingdom and Australia emphasise the need for an investigation of Australian radiographers' screen-reading accuracy. Methods: Ten radiographers employed by the Westmead Breast Cancer Institute with a range of radiographic (median = 28 years), mammographic (median = 13 years) and BreastScreen (median = 8 years) experience were recruited to blindly and independently screen-read an image test set of 500 mammograms, without formal training. The radiographers indicated the presence of an abnormality using BI-RADS{\circledR}. Accuracy was determined by comparison with the gold standard of known outcomes of pathology results, interval matching and client 6-year follow-up. Results: Individual sensitivity and specificity levels ranged between 76.0{\%} and 92.0{\%}, and 74.8{\%} and 96.2{\%} respectively. Pooled screen-reader accuracy across the radiographers estimated sensitivity as 82.2{\%} and specificity as 89.5{\%}. Areas under the reading operating characteristic curve ranged between 0.842 and 0.923. Conclusions: This sample of radiographers in an Australian setting have adequate accuracy levels when screen-reading mammograms. It is expected that with formal screen-reading training, accuracy levels will improve, and with support, radiographers have the potential to be one of the two screen-readers in the BreastScreen Australia program, contributing to timeliness and improved program outcomes.",
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Evaluation of radiographers' mammography screen-reading accuracy in Australia. / Debono, Josephine C.; Poulos, Ann E.; Houssami, Nehmat; Turner, Robin M.; Boyages, John.

In: Journal of Medical Radiation Sciences, Vol. 62, No. 1, 01.03.2015, p. 15-22.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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AU - Debono, Josephine C.

AU - Poulos, Ann E.

AU - Houssami, Nehmat

AU - Turner, Robin M.

AU - Boyages, John

N1 - Copyright the Author(s) 2015. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

PY - 2015/3/1

Y1 - 2015/3/1

N2 - Introduction: This study aimed to evaluate the accuracy of radiographers' screen-reading mammograms. Currently, radiologist workforce shortages may be compromising the BreastScreen Australia screening program goal to detect early breast cancer. The solution to a similar problem in the United Kingdom has successfully encouraged radiographers to take on the role as one of two screen-readers. Prior to consideration of this strategy in Australia, educational and experiential differences between radiographers in the United Kingdom and Australia emphasise the need for an investigation of Australian radiographers' screen-reading accuracy. Methods: Ten radiographers employed by the Westmead Breast Cancer Institute with a range of radiographic (median = 28 years), mammographic (median = 13 years) and BreastScreen (median = 8 years) experience were recruited to blindly and independently screen-read an image test set of 500 mammograms, without formal training. The radiographers indicated the presence of an abnormality using BI-RADS®. Accuracy was determined by comparison with the gold standard of known outcomes of pathology results, interval matching and client 6-year follow-up. Results: Individual sensitivity and specificity levels ranged between 76.0% and 92.0%, and 74.8% and 96.2% respectively. Pooled screen-reader accuracy across the radiographers estimated sensitivity as 82.2% and specificity as 89.5%. Areas under the reading operating characteristic curve ranged between 0.842 and 0.923. Conclusions: This sample of radiographers in an Australian setting have adequate accuracy levels when screen-reading mammograms. It is expected that with formal screen-reading training, accuracy levels will improve, and with support, radiographers have the potential to be one of the two screen-readers in the BreastScreen Australia program, contributing to timeliness and improved program outcomes.

AB - Introduction: This study aimed to evaluate the accuracy of radiographers' screen-reading mammograms. Currently, radiologist workforce shortages may be compromising the BreastScreen Australia screening program goal to detect early breast cancer. The solution to a similar problem in the United Kingdom has successfully encouraged radiographers to take on the role as one of two screen-readers. Prior to consideration of this strategy in Australia, educational and experiential differences between radiographers in the United Kingdom and Australia emphasise the need for an investigation of Australian radiographers' screen-reading accuracy. Methods: Ten radiographers employed by the Westmead Breast Cancer Institute with a range of radiographic (median = 28 years), mammographic (median = 13 years) and BreastScreen (median = 8 years) experience were recruited to blindly and independently screen-read an image test set of 500 mammograms, without formal training. The radiographers indicated the presence of an abnormality using BI-RADS®. Accuracy was determined by comparison with the gold standard of known outcomes of pathology results, interval matching and client 6-year follow-up. Results: Individual sensitivity and specificity levels ranged between 76.0% and 92.0%, and 74.8% and 96.2% respectively. Pooled screen-reader accuracy across the radiographers estimated sensitivity as 82.2% and specificity as 89.5%. Areas under the reading operating characteristic curve ranged between 0.842 and 0.923. Conclusions: This sample of radiographers in an Australian setting have adequate accuracy levels when screen-reading mammograms. It is expected that with formal screen-reading training, accuracy levels will improve, and with support, radiographers have the potential to be one of the two screen-readers in the BreastScreen Australia program, contributing to timeliness and improved program outcomes.

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JF - Journal of Medical Radiation Sciences

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