Objective: We sought to estimate what proportion of adults plan to stop cancer screening tests among adults who recently considered screening and to explore factors associated with these screening plans.
Design: Telephone Survey
Participants: A total of 1,237 participants aged 50 and older who reported having made one or more cancer screening decisions in the past 2 years completed 1,454 cancer screening modules for breast, prostate and colorectal screening.
Main results: Of all module respondents, 9.8% reported plans to stop screening, 12.6% for breast, 6.0 % for prostate and 9.5% for colon cancer. We found no statistically significant differences in plans to stop for those ages >or=70 (8.2%) compared to those ages 50 to 69 (10.2%) (p = 0.14.) Black respondents were less likely to report plans to stop than white respondents (OR = 0.32, 95% CI 0.12, 0.87). Participation in the decision-making process was associated with plans to stop screening; those who reported they made the final decision about screening (OR 5.9, 95% CI 1.4, 24.7) or made the decision with the health care provider (OR 4.1, 95% CI 1.0, 16.8) were more likely to have plans to stop screening compared to respondents who reported that their health care provider made the final decision.
Conclusions: Plans to stop screening were uncommon among participants who had recently faced a screening decision. Given the recent US Preventive Services Task Force recommendations limiting routine cancer screening for older adults, additional efforts to educate adults about the potential risks and benefits of screening may be warranted.