Patients' perceptions of breast MRI: A single-center study

Shaheen Zakaria, Kathleen R. Brandt, Amy C. Degnim, Kristine M. Thomsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE. The high sensitivity and lower specificity of breast MRI for detecting breast cancer are well documented in the literature. As the use of breast MRI continues to grow, medical controversy persists over the appropriate use of this test. However, patients' perceptions of breast MRI are unknown. The aim of this study was to determine patients' perception of the impact of breast MRI on their care and to compare patients' perception with objective assessments. MATERIALS AND METHODS. Patients undergoing breast MRI between January 2004 and December 2005 for cancer staging or high-risk surveillance were surveyed regarding comfort during, satisfaction with, and perception of MRI's impact on their clinical care. The respondents' perceptions of the impact of MRI on their care were compared with objective assessments based on retrospective chart review for breast cancer patients. RESULTS. Of 300 patients, the survey was completed by 227 (76%). Ninety-one percent (203/224) reported mild or no discomfort during the examination, and 91% (206/226) perceived the breast MRI examination as having a positive impact on their care. Breast cancer patients were significantly more likely to perceive the impact of MRI as beneficial in comparison with the objective assessment (91% vs 35%, respectively; p < 0.001). CONCLUSION. Most women undergoing breast MRI for cancer staging and screening found it to be a comfortable test and perceived it to have a positive impact on their care. Breast cancer patients perceived the clinical impact of their breast MRI examination to be significantly more positive than when assessed objectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1149-1154
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2009


  • Breast MRI
  • Breast cancer
  • Breast cancer screening
  • MRI
  • Women's imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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