Cancer on a mammogram is not memorable: Readers remember their recalls and not cancers

Authors


  • AG Pitman MBBS, BMedSci, MMed, FRANZCR, FAANMS; P Kok MBBS; L Zentner BA, MBBS, FRANZCR, FAANMS; R Taft MBBS, FRANZCR, FRCR; D Shnier MBBS, MMed, FRANZCR, FAANMS; V Mercuri BSc, MBBS, MMed, FRANZCR; K Mehta MBBS, MD, FRANZCR; J Lawson MBBS, BMedSci(Hons), FRANZCR; S Kremer MBBS, FACR, FRANZCR; S Gledhill BAppSci, MMedStat; JN Cawson MBBS, FRANZCR, MPH, MD.
  • Conflict of interest: None to declare.

Correspondence

Professor Alexander G Pitman, University of Notre Dame and Lake Imaging Ballarat, PO Box 75, Parkville, Vic. 3052, Australia.

Email: agpitman@unimelb.edu.au

Abstract

Aim

To determine if presence of cancer on a mammogram makes that mammogram more memorable.

Materials and methods

A total of 100 mammograms (25 cancers) were grouped into 5 sets of 20 cases. Set pairs were presented in five reads to eight radiologist readers. Readers were asked to ‘clear’ or ‘call back’ cases, and at post-baseline reads to indicate whether each case was ‘new’ or ‘old’ (remembered from prior read). Two sets were presented only at baseline, to calculate each reader's false recollection rate. For cases presented more than once (‘old’ cases, 100 presentations) readers could have ‘correct memory’ or ‘memory loss’. Memory performance was defined as odds ratio of correct memory to memory loss.

Multivariate logistic data regression analysis identified predictors of memory performance from: reader, set, time since last read, presence of cancer, and whether the case was called back at the last read.

Results

Memory performance differed markedly between readers and reader identity was a highly significant predictor of memory performance. Presence of cancer was not a significant predictor of memory performance (odds ratio 0.77, 95% CI: 0.49–1.21). Whether the case was called back at the last read was a highly significant predictor (odds ratio 4.22, 95% CI: 2.70–6.61) for the model incorporating reader variability, and also the model without reader variability (odds ratio 2.67, 95% CI: 1.74–4.08).

Conclusion

The only statistically significant predictor of radiologist memory for a mammogram was whether the radiologist ‘called it back’ at a prior reading round. Presence of cancer on a mammogram did not make it memorable.

Ancillary