How do women experience a false-positive test result from breast screening? A systematic review and thematic synthesis of qualitative studies
AuthorsLong, Hannah; orcid: 0000-0001-7306-8987; email: email@example.com
Brooks, Joanna M.
Harvie, Michelle; orcid: 0000-0001-9761-3089
Maxwell, Anthony; orcid: 0000-0001-8344-4958
French, David P.; orcid: 0000-0002-7663-7804
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractAbstract: Background: This is the first review to identify, appraise and synthesise women’s experiences of having a false-positive breast screening test result. Methods: We systematically searched eight databases for qualitative research reporting women’s experiences of receiving a false-positive screening test result. Two reviewers independently screened articles. Eight papers reporting seven studies were included. Study quality was appraised. Data were thematically synthesised. Results: Women passively attended screening in order to prove their perceived good health. Consequently, being recalled was unexpected, shocking and disempowering: women felt without options. They endured great uncertainty and stress and sought clarity about their health (e.g. by scrutinising the wording of recall letters and conversations with healthcare professionals). Their result was accompanied by relief and welcome feelings of certainty about their health, but some received unclear explanations of their result, contributing to lasting breast cancer-related worry and an ongoing need for further reassurance. Conclusion: The organisation of breast screening programmes may constrain choice for women: they became passive recipients. The way healthcare professionals verbally communicate results to women may contribute to lasting breast cancer-related worry. Women need more reassurance, emotional support and answers to their questions before and during screening assessment, and after receiving their result.
CitationBritish Journal of Cancer, volume 121, issue 4, page 351-358
PublisherNature Publishing Group UK
DescriptionFrom Springer Nature via Jisc Publications Router
History: received 2019-03-01, rev-recd 2019-06-24, accepted 2019-06-28, registration 2019-06-28, pub-electronic 2019-07-23, online 2019-07-23, pub-print 2019-08-13
Publication status: Published
Funder: National Institute for Health Research Manchester Biomedical Research Centre (IS-BRC-1215-20007)
Funder: NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre