Introduction. In Italy, because of increasing health care budget and staff shortages, the most recent local mammography screening programmes have been established under poorer conditions compared with earlier programmes.
Methods. Using data from a national questionnaire survey, we made a comparison of main professional characteristics between the radiologists working in programmes established in 2000-2012 and those working in programmes established in 1990-1999.
Results. The former reported more years of experience and a greater clinical mammogram reading volume. Conversely, they dedicated less working time to breast imaging, and were less likely to participate in the diagnostic assessment of screen-detected lesions, to work in large-staffed screening centres, and to have a screening and a total (screening and clinical) mammogram reading volume ≥5000 per year.
Conclusion. Most of major experience-related characteristics of Italian mammography screening radiologists have deteriorated over time.