What makes a good mammographer? Looking at the homogeneity of those groups who perform best and least well on the PERFORMS self-assessment scheme
© BioMed Central Ltd 2008
Published: 7 July 2008
The Personal Performance in Mammographic Screening (PERFORMS) scheme originated in 1991 and functions as a free educational tool whereby film-readers routinely evaluate and receive immediate and confidential feedback on 120 cases, biyearly. In addition, most individuals complete a short questionnaire describing real-life factors such as years of reading experience and most typical screening practice (for example, reading duration, frequency, and case volume). From these data we identified those individuals who performed best (as a measure of excellence in film-reading) and those who performed less well on PERFORMS with a view to establishing a general film-reader profile. Previous research has shown that individuals who read a lower volume of cases (for example, new film-readers) may perform less well for sensitivity measures. We also looked at occupational differences in these profiles to determine whether radiologists and advanced practitioners were significantly represented in either performance group. We investigated low/high group profiles by analysing over 400 film-readers' questionnaire/performance data for a recent PERFORMS scheme. This analysis concentrated on possible within-group similarities in style and manner of film-reading according to self-report. We elucidate what characteristics and practices, from self-report, are the most common for breast-screening film-readers within a high/low performance group, with a view to possible training recommendations.