Abhinav Vij, MD, and colleagues explored women's interest in getting screening mammograms at retail clinics, which can be located in stores, supermarkets, and pharmacies, and tend to be staffed by certified physician assistants or nurse practitioners.
Between May 2009 and August 2009, the team distributed surveys to women waiting to have annual screening mammograms at the hospital's tertiary-care breast imaging department; 400 women participated. The survey asked whether the women would be interested in getting their screening mammograms in a private area inside a retail health clinic that would be operated by the tertiary-care center, the staff of which would also interpret the images.
The characteristics of the survey participants included:
- 310 patients (78%) with college or postgraduate degrees
- 150 patients (38%) with annual income greater than $60,000
- 241 patients (60%) who had been getting screening mammograms for more than 10 years
- 8 patients (2%) who were getting their first screening mammogram
- 287 patients (72%) who had been undergoing screening mammograms regularly, with their last exam taking place one year ago
Vij's team found that 53%, or 212 of the 400 women, said they would be interested in receiving their annual screening mammogram in a private area within a retail shopping facility; of these 212, 163 (77%) would be interested in getting the exam at a pharmacy, 38 (18%) at a Wal-Mart, and 33 (16%) at a grocery store.
The factors that influenced women's responses were the proximity of the center to her home (56%), convenient and free parking (38%), and flexible hours (31%). In fact, 32% of the survey respondents said they would be more likely to undergo regular mammography screening if the exams were offered outside typical business hours.