Perceptions of informed decision making about cancer screening in a diverse primary care population

Fam Med. 2010 Jun;42(6):421-7.


Objective: Our objective was to describe primary care patients' perceptions of informed and shared decision making about cancer screening tests in a diverse sample.

Methods: We administered a 33-item survey to 467 women and 257 men aged 50 years and older from seven practices in a family medicine practice-based research network. We used ordered logistic regression to assess the relationship between gender, race, education, marital status, and self-rated health with measures of patient-centered care relating to cancer screening tests, controlling for practice site.

Results: Men had greater odds than women of reporting they did not know the benefits of cancer screening (1.46, 95% CI=1.08, 1.99). Compared to white respondents, black respondents reported greater odds of not knowing the benefits (1.70, 95% CI=1.23, 2.36) and risks (1.38, 95% CI=1.00, 1.90) of cancer screening, of not making informed choices (1.50, 95% CI=1.09, 2.07), and that their doctor did not give them some control over their cancer screening tests (1.57, 95% CI=1.12, 2.20). Low education level was also associated with lower perceptions of informed decision making.

Conclusions: Patients with male sex, non-white race, and low education level reported more uncertainty about cancer screening tests and less patient-centered care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Decision Making
  • Early Detection of Cancer / methods
  • Early Detection of Cancer / standards
  • Educational Status
  • Family Practice / methods*
  • Family Practice / standards
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Informed Consent / standards
  • Informed Consent / statistics & numerical data*
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minority Groups
  • Patient-Centered Care / methods*
  • Patient-Centered Care / standards
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sex Factors