Introduction. In Italy, due to increasing healthcare budget and staff shortages, the recently created regional mammography screening programmes were established under worse radiology practice quality criteria than the previously created programmes. Methods. Using available data from a national questionnaire survey conducted at the end of 2013 and involving 222 responder radiologists, we compared the main professional quality standards of radiologists working in the screening programmes established during the period 2000-2012 with those working in the screening programmes created from 1990 to 1999. Results. The former reported more years of clinical experience in breast imaging and a greater clinical mammogram reading volume than the latter. Conversely, they dedicated less working time to breast imaging, were less likely to participate in the diagnostic assessment of screen-detected lesions, to work in large-staffed screening centres, and to have a screening and a total mammogram reading volume (SMRV and TMRV) ≥ 5000 per year. Conclusions. The level of most professional quality criteria of Italian mammography screening radiologists has decreased over time. As SMRV and TMRV are important predictors of diagnostic accuracy, we can expect a lower interpretation performance of radiologists working in the recently created screening programmes.
- Breast cancer
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health