Purpose: Numerous studies have shown that healthcare providers, including nurse practitioners (NPs) fail to provide breast cancer risk assessment (BrCRA) in primary care settings. A potential barrier to the use of BrCRA is insufficient knowledge or training of risk assessment. The purpose of this study was to analyze the outcome of a BrCRA program developed to enhance NPs' knowledge of risk assessment and use of empiric risk assessment models.
Data sources: Thirty-five NPs participated in a before-after (pretest–posttest design) study evaluating the effectiveness of a BrCRA education program conducted at a national NP conference. Demographics, pre/post knowledge, and course satisfaction measures were all examined as a part of this pilot study.
Conclusion: Continuing education through the implementation of a BrCRA program significantly increased NPs knowledge in assessing breast cancer risk and the use of empiric risk assessment models.
Implications for practice: Many healthcare providers, including NPs, are inadequately prepared to assess a woman's risk for breast cancer. Understanding breast cancer risk assessment is essential if NPs are to provide appropriate counseling, management, and referral strategies needed to reduce a woman's risk for developing the disease. Continuing education provides one means to enhance NP's knowledge of BrCRA.