Prostate cancer screening in men with a family history of prostate cancer: the role of partners in influencing men's screening uptake

Urology. 2007 Oct;70(4):738-42. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2007.06.1093.


Objective: To assess the role of the partners, as well as other sociodemographic and psychological factors, in influencing prostate cancer screening uptake among men with a family history of prostate cancer.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional study of 280 unaffected men with a family history of prostate cancer along with 174 of their partners, using mailed, self-administered questionnaires.

Results: The majority of respondents reported having had at least one prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test (78.9%) and/or one digital rectal examination (DRE) (78.0%). Ever having had a PSA test was associated with number of first- and second-degree relatives with prostate cancer (odds ratio [OR] = 1.79; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.03 to 3.11; P = 0.040) and relationship status. Compared with men who were single, those with partners with high involvement in men's screening had a significantly higher uptake of PSA screening (OR = 3.41; 95% CI 1.12 to 10.44; P = 0.031). Ever having had a DRE was significantly and positively associated with age (OR = 1.09; 95% CI 1.05 to 1.13; P <0.001) and perceived prostate cancer risk (OR = 1.03; 95% CI 1.01 to 1.04; P <0.001), as well as having sons (OR = 2.06; 95% CI 1.06 to 3.97; P = 0.032).

Conclusions: Psychological factors are the most important influence on men's uptake of DRE, whereas external factors, including partner's involvement, influence PSA uptake. If prostate cancer screening is ultimately shown to be efficacious for men with a family history of prostate cancer, screening uptake will be maximized in this target group by enlisting the support of partners.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health
  • Digital Rectal Examination
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care* / psychology
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / blood
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / psychology
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Spouses*


  • Prostate-Specific Antigen