Breast compression techniques in screening mammography – A Maltese evaluation project
AffiliationSheffield Hallam University
National Breast Screening Programme, Lascaris Wharf, Valletta
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AbstractIn screening mammography, the radiographer should be responsible for providing mammograms of high diagnostic value, possibly without subjecting clients to a painful experience. This skill is demonstrated via the technique of breast compression and is explored in this study by analysing insights about methods and underlying principles in regards to this procedure. One-to-one semi-structured interviews were conducted with radiographers who perform screening mammography in Malta. For data analysis, a descriptive phenomenological approach following a simplified version of Hycner's (1985) method was adopted. Five general themes were extracted from the data; meeting the client, preparing the client, the mammography procedure, pain from compression and client turnout. It was determined that the participants alter their breast compression technique according to the client rather than following a rigid step-by-step process and that explanation and requesting client feedback are essential to obtain cooperation. Additionally, mammography positioning and compression application are tailored in a way that encourage compliance, however not at the expense of degrading image quality. Ultimately, it is also believed that a proper breast compression technique positively influences client turnout. The results of this study demonstrate that radiographers should be flexible in their approach in order to carry out a successful breast compression technique. However, it has also been shown that such effectiveness in practice is gained from experience rather than initial training. If exposed to this study's findings, new mammographers would be able to form a robust core of knowledge before embarking on the challenging specialisation of mammography.
CitationAgius, E.C. and Naylor, S., (2018). 'Breast compression techniques in screening mammography–A Maltese evaluation project'. Radiography, 24(4), pp.309-314.