Reduction in uptake of PSA tests following decision aids: systematic review of current aids and their evaluations

Patient Educ Couns. 2005 Jul;58(1):13-26. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2004.06.009.


A man's decision to have a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test should be an informed one. We undertook a systematic review to identify and appraise PSA decision aids and evaluations. We searched 15 electronic databases and hand-searched key journals. We also contacted key authors and organisations. All decision aids and evaluations that discussed PSA were included, with meta-analyses performed on two outcomes from the evaluations: PSA testing and patient knowledge of PSA and related issues. Seven decision aids and 11 evaluations were included. The meta-analysis showed a significantly reduced probability in PSA testing after a decision aid: -3.5% (95% confidence interval: 0.0 to 7.2%; P = 0.050). There were significant improvements in knowledge within 2 weeks after a decision aid: 19.5% (95% confidence interval: 14.2 to 24.8%; P < 0.001). The effect on knowledge was less pronounced within 12-18 months after a decision aid: 3.4% (95% confidence interval: -0.7 to 7.4%; P = 0.10). PSA decision aids improve knowledge about PSA testing, at least in the short term. Men given these decision aids seem to be less likely to have the PSA test.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood
  • Decision Support Techniques*
  • Diagnostic Tests, Routine / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Patient Participation*
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / blood*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / blood
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen