Projecting mammographic screens

N. Parr, John Boyages*, R. Taylor, P. Anura, T. Callaghan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective - The purpose of mammographic screening is to reduce mortality from breast cancer. This study describes a method for projecting the number of screens to be performed by a mammographic screening programme, and applies this method in the context of New South Wales, Australia. Method - The total number of mammographic screens was projected as the sum of initial screens and re-screens, and is based on projections of the population, rates of new recruitment, rates of attrition within the programme, and the mix of screening intervals. The baseline scenario involved: 70% participation of women aged 50-69 years, 90% return rate for the second and subsequent re-screens, 5% annual screens (95% biennial screens), and a specified population projection. The results were assessed with respect to variations in these assumptions. Results - The projections were strongly influenced by: The rate of screening of the target age group; the proportion of women re-screened annually; and the rates of attrition within the programme. Although demographic change had a notable effect, there was little difference between different population projections. Standard assumptions about attrition within the programme suggest that the current target participation rates in NSW may not be achieved in the long term. Conclusions - A practical model for projecting mammographic screens for populations is described which is capable of forecasting the number of screens under different scenarios. Implications - Projections of mammographic screens provide important information for the planning and financing of equipment and personnel, and for testing the effects of variations in important operational parameters. Re-screening attrition is an important contributor to screening viability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-151
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Medical Screening
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2000


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