• Article

Comparative effectiveness of mailed reminder letters on mammography screening compliance

Objective. Reminder letters are effective at prompting women to schedule mammograms. Less well studied are reminders addressing multiple preventive service recommendations. We compared the effectiveness of a mammogram-specific reminder sent when a woman was due for a mammogram to a reminder letter addressing multiple preventive services and sent on a woman's birthday on mammography receipt.

Methods. The study included 48,583 women 52-74years enrolled in Group Health Cooperative, a health plan in Washington State. From 2005 to 2009, women were mailed 88,605 mammogram-specific or birthday letters. In this one group pretest-posttest study, we modeled the odds of obtaining a screening mammogram after receiving a letter by reminder type using logistic regression, controlling for demographic and healthcare use characteristics and stratifying by whether women were overdue or up-to-date with mammography at the mailing.

Results. Among women up-to-date with screening, birthday letters were negatively associated with mammography receipt compared to mammogram-specific letters (birthday letters with 1-2 recommendations: OR=0.73; 95% CI:0.68-0.79; 3 recommendations: OR=0.74; 95% CI:0.69-0.78; 4-8 recommendations: OR=0.62 95% CI:0.55-0.68) after. Among overdue women, birthday letters with 4-8 recommendations were negatively associated with mammography receipt.

Conclusions. Transitioning from mammogram-specific reminder letters to multiple preventive service birthday letters was associated with decreased mammography receipt


Romaire, M., Bowles, E. J., Anderson, M. L., & Buist, D. S. (2012). Comparative effectiveness of mailed reminder letters on mammography screening compliance. Preventive Medicine, 55(2), 127-130. DOI: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2012.05.009