General Practitioners and Breast Imaging Modalities: Their Knowledge and Associated Determinants

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Esmat Alsadat Hashemi
Mandana Ebrahimi
Simin Alerasoul
Parisa Mokhtari Hesari
Neda Mehrdad


General practitioner, breast imaging, breast disease, knowledge


Background: General practitioners (GPs) are usually the first-line doctors visiting patients with breast problems. Therefore, their knowledge about breast diseases is of significant importance for proper screening and referral of patients and warrants scrutiny. The purpose of this study was to assess the knowledge of GPs regarding different breast imaging modalities.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, we asked participants in an annual GP conference to complete a structured questionnaire. The questionnaire elicited information about the GP’s characteristics such as age, gender and work experience and eight multiple choice questions about how to use different imaging modalities and manage patients with breast disorders were also proposed.

Results: In total, 270 GPs completed the questionnaire (155 females and 115 males). The results showed a significant association between frequency of GPs choosing the correct imaging modality in a 50-year-old asymptomatic patient and participants' age (?40) and duration of work experience (?5) (P = 0.002 and P = 0.016, respectively). Also, a significant association was revealed between gender of GPs (female) and correct answers regarding management of nipple discharge (P = 0.024). There were no significant associations between the other variables and answers to the other questions.

Conclusions: The findings of this study highlight the importance of implementing continuous medical education for GPs in approach to breast diseases.

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