APH 2006, 64, 81-90:

Re-attendance in the Flemish mammography breast cancer screening programme, Belgium.
Results from the Centre for Prevention and Early Detection of Cancer, Ghent University.

P. Van Landeghem, L. Bleyen, G. Villeirs, G. De Backer

Keywords: adherence, breast cancer, compliance, maintenance, mammography, re-attendance, re-screening, repeat screening

The aim of this study was to determine the level of re-attendance in the Flemish mammography breast cancer screening programme and to identify variables that may explain subsequent screening behaviour. Records from the Centre for Prevention and Early Detection of Cancer (CPEDC) screening database of the Ghent University were used for analysis. Overall, 69.1 % of the 18 097 women who were initially screened between January 1, 2003 and June 30, 2003 and were eligible for re-screening, returned for a second screen within 36 months. A stratified analysis showed that women with a false positive outcome were less likely to return than mammographically normal women (Wald, p < 0.01). A lower re-attendance rate was also found in women being referred by a physician at the first screen, compared to women who had been invited by the CPEDC (Wald, p < 0.01). Furthermore, a wide variation in re-attendance was found among the 53 radiology units that carried out the initial mammograms (Wald, p < 0.01), suggesting that characteristics of the screening setting itself may vary considerably between the units. The women’s age and rurality were not related to re-attendance (Wald > 0.05). Since re-attendance in the Flemish programme is rather low, it is important to further investigate why women do not return for subsequent screening, including client satisfaction variables.