Training health professionals to deliver an intervention to promote early presentation of breast cancer: a pilot study in the NHS Breast Screening Programme


Session type:

Caroline Burgess, Emma Teasdale, Lynne Omar, Lorraine Tucker, Amanda Ramirez

Institute of Psychiatry/Kings College London, London, UK


To conduct a preliminary evaluation of a training package for radiographers and assistant practitioners to deliver an intervention to raise breast cancer awareness and thereby promote early presentation of breast cancer

We have developed and tested a ten-minute scripted one-to-one health professional-delivered intervention designed to promote early presentation of breast cancer in older women. Older women are targeted as they are at high risk of developing breast cancer and of delayed presentation of the disease. The intervention is delivered to women receiving their final invited mammogram on the NHS Breast Screening Programme. We have demonstrated the efficacy of the intervention in raising breast cancer awareness. If the intervention is demonstrated to be cost-effective, it may be implemented across the NHS. Training and supervision is required to ensure the intervention is delivered effectively. We need to establish the feasibility of training sufficient radiographers to deliver the intervention to all older women attending breast screening. Training to deliver the intervention includes two formal days with rehearsal of skills and performance feedback based on video-recorded practice interventions. Competency to deliver the intervention is assessed according to quality criteria covering the content and delivery style of the intervention.

An observational pilot study of a training course in a single breast screening service was conducted using quantitative and qualitative methods.

Seven of eight radiographers who undertook training achieved competency to deliver the intervention within four months. One withdrew for personal reasons.

It is feasible to train radiographers and assistant practitioners in sufficient numbers to deliver the intervention effectively to all older women attending a breast screening service. The training conferred competence and confidence to deliver the intervention. We plan to develop a toolkit for quality assurance, including training, for implementation of the intervention across the NHS Breast Screening Programme.