We sought to assess the effect of an educational intervention, based on DenseBreast-info.org website content, on women's healthcare provider knowledge of breast density, its risk and screening implications, and comfort level discussing these topics with patients.
US-based women's healthcare providers participated in a web-based pretest/posttest study from May 14, 2019 to September 30, 2019. Pretest included demographics; comfort/knowledge discussing breast density impact on risk and screening; and educational material. Posttest contained the same knowledge and comfort questions. We assessed mean pretest/posttest score and comfort level differences (paired t tests) and pretest/posttest knowledge gap differences (McNemar test). We evaluated associations of baseline characteristics with pretest score and score improvement using multiple linear regression, and associations with knowledge gaps using logistic regression.
Of 177 providers analyzed, 74.0% (131/177) were physicians and 71.8% (127/177) practiced obstetrics/gynecology. Average test score increased from 40.9% (5.7/14) responses correct pretest to 72.1% (10.1/14) posttest (P < 0.001). Pretest, 56.5% (100/177) knew women with extremely dense breasts have four-to-six-fold greater breast cancer risk than those with fatty breasts; 29.4% (52/177) knew risk increases with increasing glandular tissue; only 5.6% (10/177) knew 3D/tomosynthesis does not improve cancer detection in extremely dense breasts over 2D mammography; and 70.6% (125/177) would consider supplemental ultrasound after mammography in an average-risk 50-year old with dense breasts. Postintervention, these knowledge gaps resolved or reduced (all P < 0.005) and comfort in discussing breast density implications increased (all P < 0.001).
Important knowledge gaps about implications of breast density exist among women's healthcare providers, which can be effectively addressed with web-based education.