Effectiveness of Community Education for Breast Cancer Screening

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of breast imaging








anxiety; breast cancer risk assessment; breast imaging education and training; patient wellness


OBJECTIVE: Screening based on individual risk factors results in detection of earlier, more curable breast cancer. There is expectation that improved public education about the importance of personalized screening will result in earlier diagnoses and reduced breast cancer mortality. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of community education on patient perceptions about risk-based screening. METHODS: This study is Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act-compliant and institutional review board exempt. A standardized curriculum was used by radiologists and experts to conduct nine 1-hour patient education sessions between October 2018 and January 2019 about breast cancer risk factors and screening options. Patient participants completed voluntary, anonymous pre-event and post event surveys to determine if the presented educational program led to attitude changes. Survey results were summarized using statistical analysis including mean, median, range, and percentage of participants responding and comparison of pre- and post event fear and anxiety. RESULTS: Of 336 education session participants, 59.5% (200/336) completed the pre-event and 44.3% (149/336) completed the post event surveys, Respondents reported decreased anxiety and fear regarding breast cancer screening following educational sessions, with 36.1% (64/178) reporting anxiety pre-event compared to 23.3% (31/133) post event, although the difference was not statistically significant (P = .96). Additionally, 64.7% (55/85) of participants stated they were more likely to schedule breast cancer screening based on individual risk factors, and 98.0% (145/148) of participants reported increased knowledge on post event surveys. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates the importance and effectiveness of community-based educational programs in increasing knowledge of risk-based screening and potentially reducing anxiety related to screening.