Take a break: should breaks be enforced during digital breast tomosynthesis reading sessions?

Partridge, George John William, Taib, Adnan Gani, Phillips, Peter ORCID logo ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7473-6040 , James, Jonathan Jeffrey, Satchithananda, Keshthra, Sharma, Nisha, Morel, Juliet, McAvinchey, Rita, Valencia, Alexandra, Teh, William, Khan, Humaira, Muscat, Elizabeth, Michell, Michael James and Chen, Yan ORCID logo ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3107-7898 (2024) Take a break: should breaks be enforced during digital breast tomosynthesis reading sessions? European Radiology, 34 (2). pp. 1388-1398.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00330-023-10086-4


Objectives: Digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) can improve diagnostic accuracy compared to 2D mammography, but DBT reporting is time-consuming and potentially more fatiguing. Changes in diagnostic accuracy and subjective and objective fatigue were evaluated over a DBT reporting session, and the impact of taking a reporting break was assessed.

Materials and methods: Forty-five National Health Service (NHS) mammography readers from 6 hospitals read a cancer-enriched set of 40 DBT cases whilst eye tracked in this prospective cohort study, from December 2020 to April 2022. Eye-blink metrics were assessed as objective fatigue measures. Twenty-one readers had a reporting break, 24 did not. Subjective fatigue questionnaires were completed before and after the session. Diagnostic accuracy and subjective and objective fatigue measures were compared between the cohorts using parametric and non-parametric significance testing.

Results: Readers had on average 10 years post-training breast screening experience and took just under 2 h (105.8 min) to report all cases. Readers without a break reported greater levels of subjective fatigue (44% vs. 33%, p = 0.04), which related to greater objective fatigue: an increased average blink duration (296 ms vs. 286 ms, p < 0.001) and a reduced eye-opening velocity (76 mm/s vs. 82 mm/s, p < 0.001). Objective fatigue increased as the trial progressed for the no break cohort only (ps < 0.001). No difference was identified in diagnostic accuracy between the groups (accuracy: 87% vs. 87%, p = 0.92).

Conclusions: Implementing a break during a 2-h DBT reporting session resulted in lower levels of subjective and objective fatigue. Breaks did not impact diagnostic accuracy, which may be related to the extensive experience of the readers.

Clinical relevance statement: DBT is being incorporated into many mammography screening programmes. Recognising that reporting breaks are required when reading large volumes of DBT studies ensures this can be factored in when setting up reading sessions.

Clinical trials registration number: NCT03733106

• Use of digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) in breast screening programmes can cause significant reader fatigue.
• The effectiveness of incorporating reading breaks into DBT reporting sessions, to reduce mammography reader fatigue, was investigated using eye tracking.
• Integrating breaks into DBT reporting sessions reduced reader fatigue; however, diagnostic accuracy was unaffected.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: European Radiology
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 1432-1084
Departments: Institute of Health > Medical Sciences
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made.
Depositing User: Insight Administrator
SWORD Depositor: Insight Administrator
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2023 15:50
Last Modified: 10 Feb 2024 19:45
URI: https://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/7283


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