Background: A woman's experience during her initial breast screen can influence her participation in subsequent screening.
Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the association between a woman's satisfaction with her initial screening experience and compliance to biennial screening at centers with and without nurses.
Methods: A stratified random sample of compliers and noncompliers to biennial screening was selected from a cohort of 16 858 eligible women aged 50 to 65 years attending centers with and without nurses for their initial screen at the Ontario Breast Screening Program in 2002. Of these eligible women, 3387 were sent questionnaires, 2640 (77.9%) were contacted, and 1901 (72.0%) were interviewed. The association between satisfaction with initial screen and compliance was estimated separately for centers with and without nurses using logistic regression.
Results: Women attending centers with nurses were significantly less likely to comply with their next screen after their clinical breast examination if they were not completely satisfied with the service they received (odds ratio, 0.21; 95% confidence interval, 0.08-0.57) or agreed that the clinical breast examination caused discomfort to their breasts (odds ratio, 0.65; 95% confidence interval, 0.45-0.94). In addition, women attending centers with or without nurses were significantly less likely to comply if they did not understand why they needed to return for screening.
Conclusions: Nurses at screening centers have an opportunity to significantly impact a woman's compliance to biennial breast screening by providing a positive initial screening experience.
Implications for Practice: Emphasis should be placed on improving a woman's overall satisfaction with her initial screening experience.