Mammographer personality traits – elements of the optimal mammogram experience

  • A Louw
  • H Lawrence
  • J Motto


Background: Mammography is not supported optimally by patients as a screening and diagnostic tool for breast cancer, often as result of negative perceptions amongst patients which originate from a range of factors.
Objectives: The objective of the wider study was to probe some of the factors impacting on patient perceptions. This article reports findings regarding patients’ preferences and perceptions concerning mammographer personality traits.
Method: Descriptive, exploratory research employed a non-probability, convenience sampling method to collect data by means of a questionnaire from 274 mammogram patients in four clinical training centres in Gauteng. Respondents had to rate 24 personality traits in mammographers in terms of importance. Validity, credibility, reliability and ethical considerations were addressed.
Results: A questionnaire return rate of 91% was achieved. Descriptive statistics and factor analysis facilitated interpretation of the data and four factors emerged from the personality trait scale.
Conclusion: Patients seem to rate mammographers in terms of the trust they instil, the care that they emanate, how safe they make patients feel and how well they communicate. As mammographer-patient interaction plays an integral role in the way patients perceive mammogram  experiences, these factors are conceptualised as also being fundamental
elements of an optimal mammogram experience.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2071-9736
print ISSN: 1025-9848