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Proceedings Paper

Breast screening technologists: Does real-life case volume affect performance?
Author(s): Hazel J. Scott; Alastair G. Gale; David S. Wooding
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Paper Abstract

In the UK fewer radiologists are now specialising in breast cancer screening. Consequently, a number of technologists have been specially trained to read mammograms so as to double-read with existing radiologists. Each year the majority of these film-readers examine a set of difficult cases as a means of self-assessing their skills. We investigated whether the technologists performed as well as breast-screening radiologists on this difficult test set. We also investigated technologists’ performance over a number of years to compare the performance of those technologists who have read a greater number of breast screening films and those who have had less experience. Finally, we investigated real-life experience and performance on the scheme by comparing; volume of cases read, experience, and technologists’ performance over time versus radiologists’ performance. Data for approximately 250 breast screening Radiologists and 80 specially trained technologists over three years for six sets of 60 difficult recent screening cases were examined. Overall, those technologists who have not read the same volume of cases as radiologists did not perform as well on this particular task. Although when the group was fractionated by volume of cases read in real-life and the number of years reading cases, then the technologists performed at a level similar to the radiologists.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 May 2004
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 5372, Medical Imaging 2004: Image Perception, Observer Performance, and Technology Assessment, (4 May 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.540333
Show Author Affiliations
Hazel J. Scott, Univ. of Derby (United Kingdom)
Alastair G. Gale, Univ. of Derby (United Kingdom)
David S. Wooding, Univ. of Derby (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5372:
Medical Imaging 2004: Image Perception, Observer Performance, and Technology Assessment
Dev P. Chakraborty; Miguel P. Eckstein, Editor(s)

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