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Authors Laufer S, Ray RD, D'Angelo AL, Jones GF, Pugh CM
Author Profile(s)
Journal Am. J. Surg. Volume: 210 Issue: 4 Pages: 618-23
Publish Date 2015 Oct
PubMed ID 26198334
PMC ID 4575856

The aim of this study was to evaluate recommendation patterns of different specialties for the work-up of a palpable breast mass using simulated scenarios and clinical breast examination models.Study participants were a convenience sample of physicians (n = 318) attending annual surgical, family practice, and obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN) conferences. Two different silicone-based breast models (superficial mass vs chest wall mass) were used to test clinical breast examination skills and recommendation patterns (imaging, tissue sampling, and follow-up).Participants were more likely to recommend mammography (P < .001) and core biopsy (P < .0001) and less likely to recommend needle aspiration (P < .043) and 1-month follow-up (P < .001) for the chest wall mass compared with the superficial mass. Family practitioners were less likely to recommend ultrasound (P < .001) and obstetrics and gynecologists were less likely to recommend mammogram (P < .006) across models. Surgeons were more likely to recommend core biopsy and less likely to recommend needle aspiration across models (P < .001).Recommendation patterns differed across the 2 models in line with existing practice guidelines. Additionally, differences in practice patterns between primary care and specialty providers may represent varying clinician capabilities, healthcare resources, and individual preferences. Our work shows that simulation may be used to track adherence to practice guidelines for breast masses.

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