All the information provided from the screening programmes must be based on the best evidence.
Written information (letters, leaflets) is appropriate to transmit general information about the disease and the screening programme.
Basic information needs to invite the women to attend the screening • programme could be provided by an invitation letter and an additional leaflet. A second level of information could be facilitated to users who demand more information.
The leaflet is an efficient method to improve users knowledge of the screening. Not all Spanish screening programmes have a leaflet, although it is rated positive by users.
Information on breast cancer screening should be disseminated to women before the starting age of participation in the programme.
The invitation leaflet should provide information on breast cancer, the screening programme, the target population, the screening interval, the screening test (nature, purpose, process, validity, benefits, risks and results), further assessment, treatment options and how to get further information.
Very little information about screening risks is given in screening programmes, although the information about benefits and risks is fundamental to facilitate the screening informed participation.
There is a great difficulty to making risk information understandable. The use of pictograms facilitates risk understanding.
Women participants in focal groups prefer to receive the results through general practitioners, especially when they must be recalled for further assessment.
In recall letters it is necessary to include information to minimize emotional harms.
Further quality research into the process of written communication about breast cancer programmes is called for, so as to be able to ensure women’s informed participation in screening programmes.
It should be necessary to design strategies, counting with the participation of users, to develop written information material according to women expectations and needs.
Although at present the women of the target population are little familiar with the new technologies, it would be necessary to enhance the design of web pages easily accessible, where to get different levels of information, according to the users needs.