Study Launched to Assess Health Care Provider Knowledge of Breast Density (DB-I) recently announced the launch of a research study to evaluate the effect of an educational intervention on primary care providers’ knowledge of breast density and its implications for breast cancer screening and risk, as well as their comfort level navigating patient discussions around the topic. The study, “Improving Knowledge and Comfort in Discussing Breast Density Implications: Impact of on Healthcare Providers,” was funded by a grant from the American Cancer Society. 

Currently, 38 states and the District of Columbia require health care facilities performing mammograms to provide some form of notification about breast density to patients and referring health care providers. Proposed changes to the Mammography Quality Standards Act addressing minimal notification were published in March 2019, with an expected implementation date of early 2021. This elevated awareness of the implications of breast density means that referring health care providers are becoming increasingly responsible for guiding discussions about what breast density means to their patients and whether supplemental screening of patients with dense breasts might be beneficial.

The study will be conducted using a large sample of US health care providers practicing in the area of women’s health. The survey will be distributed with the help of OBG Management magazine, who has shared the survey with over 23,000 health care providers in their database. Epidemiologist and coinvestigator Robin Seitzman, PhD, was instrumental in designing the study and survey instruments and will play a key role in conducting this research.

The principal investigator for the study is Wendie Berg, MD, PhD, a professor of radiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Magee-Womens Hospital in the department of radiology and chief scientific advisor for According to Berg, “This research study is designed to provide a better understanding of the educational needs of referring primary care providers in managing patients with dense breasts. We hope to use the study results to highlight the importance to the referring community of using a medically sourced resource for improving care for their patients in this category. We recently added a gynecologist, Elizabeth Etkin-Kramer, MD, FACOG, to DB-I’s Medical Advisory Board to provide advice and assistance in disseminating this important information.”

Etkin- Kramer is a gynecologist in private practice in Miami Beach, Florida, with a particular interest in assessment for breast and ovarian cancer. She holds various district positions and a national committee position with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and teaching positions at Florida International University School of Medicine and University of Miami School of Medicine.

— Source: