Pain during X-ray mammography: Intensity and associated factors

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Objective: To determine the pain experienced during x-ray mammography and the associated factors.
Methods: Two hundred and seventy two women undergoing x-ray mammography were included in this study conducted at the Department of Radiology, Civil Hospital Karachi in 2011. Pain was scored using the Visual Analog Scale from 0-10 . Other studied factors were age , menstrual phase , ethnicity , education level , previous mammography , size of breasts , presence of pathology , side of pathology and degree of compression in cm. Descriptive statistics were calculated , bivariate association between variables were analysed with Chi square test and Pearson correlation was used to determine the correlation between two continuous variables.
Results: The mean pain score was higher on left side (2.65 vs 2.48) higher score was significantly associated with the degree of compression( p < 0.001) and the side of compression (p <0.001). For every cm increase in compression, the pain score increased by 0.118 in left mediolateral oblique view (p < 0.05), 0.17 in left craniocaudal view (p < 0.01) , 0.14 in right craniocaudal (p < 0.01) and 0.16 in right mediolateral oblique view (p = 0.01).
Conclusion: The mean pain score on mammography was higher on left side significantly associated with greater compression and with the presence of symptoms, Most patients reported a discomfort to bearable pain suggesting x-ray mammography as a tolerable procedure.


Pakistan Journal of Radiology