Client and practitioner perspectives on the screening mammography experience
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Mammography is often painful and unpleasant, but effective interventions to improve the experience remain scarce. As a first step towards more effective interventions, we aimed to achieve a thorough, contemporary understanding of thoughts, feelings and behaviours which affect and arise from mammography experiences. Research and professional experience suggest that the interaction between client and practitioner may be paramount in determining the quality of a client’s experience. Therefore this study aimed to capture the perspectives of clients and mammography staff from UK breast screening programmes. Thematic analysis of semi-structured qualitative in-depth interviews with 22 clients and 18 staff revealed that clients had positive attitudes to breast screening and mostly low knowledge about potential harms. Staff data indicated that some women attend for breast screening under pressure from others. Pain and coping with it were prominent themes, with wide variations in pain experiences. Clients recognised differences in mammographers’ abilities to put them at ease. Staff difficulties included empowering clients within the confines of a taxing technique, and maintaining compassionate care when under strain. Future intervention development should focus on the information and support needs of women prior to the appointment and on effectively training and supporting mammographers to deal with challenging encounters.
Whelehan , P , Evans , A & Ozakinci , G 2017 , ' Client and practitioner perspectives on the screening mammography experience ' European Journal of Cancer Care , vol 26 , e12580 . DOI: 10.1111/ecc.12580
European Journal of Cancer Care
© 2016 The Authors. European Journal of Cancer Care Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Funding: The College of Radiographers Partnership Scheme
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