Radiologists' Interpretive Skills in Screening Vs. Diagnostic Mammography

Are They Related?

Published in: Clinical Imaging, v. 40, no. 6, Nov.-Dec. 2016, p. 1096-1103

Posted on RAND.org on August 24, 2016

by Joann G. Elmore, Andrea J. Cook, Andy Bogart, Patricia A. Carney, Berta M. Geller, Stephen H. Taplin, Diana S. Buist, Tracy Onega, Christoph I. Lee, Diana L. Miglioretti

Read More

Access further information on this document at Clinical Imaging

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

Purpose

This study aims to determine whether radiologists who perform well in screening also perform well in interpreting diagnostic mammography.

Materials and Methods

We evaluated the accuracy of 468 radiologists interpreting 2,234,947 screening and 196,164 diagnostic mammograms. Adjusting for site, radiologist, and patient characteristics, we identified radiologists with performance in the highest tertile and compared to those with lower performance.

Results

A moderate correlation was noted for radiologists' accuracy when interpreting screening versus their accuracy on diagnostic examinations: sensitivity (rspearman=0.51, 95% CI: 0.22, 0.80; P=.0006) and specificity (rspearman=0.40, 95% CI: 0.30, 0.49; P<.0001).

Conclusion

Different educational approaches to screening and diagnostic imaging should be considered.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation external publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.