Intention to test for prostate cancer

Eur J Cancer. 2005 May;41(7):990-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2005.01.011.


The aim of this study was to assess intention among men to take a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, when this test was: (i) offered by a doctor or (ii) based on the men's own initiative. A further aim was to use the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) to predict the most important determinants for taking a PSA test. In addition, the intention to take a PSA test among men who had the opportunity to read a PSA leaflet published by the Swedish Cancer Society was compared with men who had not read the leaflet. A total of 1000 men, age range 40-70 years, were selected randomly from a population database. The TPB model was used to measure attitudes about PSA testing. The constructed questionnaire was posted to the selected sample. Half of the sample received only the TPB questionnaire and the other half also received a PSA leaflet. The response rate was approximately 63%. The results showed that men would be less likely to request a PSA test if their doctor did not suggest the test (mean approximately 3.8 (range 1-7 from not likely to very likely)). However, if they were offered the test, most would take it (mean approximately 6.0 (range 1-7)). The positive "Attitude factor" towards the test was the most salient predictor of both behaviours. In addition, the probability of requesting a test was higher among those who had already taken a PSA test. The men who did not receive the PSA leaflet reported a higher intention to take the test than those who had received it. Overall, 47% of the variance was explained concerning men's intention to take a PSA test when offered by a doctor and 25% of men's intention to request the PSA test themselves. In conclusion, the majority of men in this study had a positive attitude towards PSA testing. The results indicate that most men could be expected to accept screening. The intention to take the PSA test was lower among the men who had received the PSA leaflet.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pamphlets
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology*
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / blood*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Prostate-Specific Antigen