Satisfaction with ovarian carcinoma risk-reduction strategies among women at high risk for breast and ovarian carcinoma

Cancer. 2011 Jun 15;117(12):2659-67. doi: 10.1002/cncr.25820. Epub 2010 Dec 29.


Background: Women who are at high risk for breast and ovarian cancer have 2 major management options to reduce their risk of ovarian cancer: periodic screening (PS) or risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy (RRSO). Little is known regarding patient satisfaction levels with risk-reduction strategies. Thus, the authors sought to determine levels of patient satisfaction with PS versus RRSO and to identify factors that may influence satisfaction.

Methods: As part of a larger study, women who received testing for the breast cancer genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 were sent a follow-up questionnaire packet to explore issues related to cancer risk reduction. The authors report on the results from a variety of validated instruments, including the Satisfaction With Decision (SWD) scale, focused on the choice between PS and RRSO.

Results: In total, 544 surveys were mailed, and 313 responses were received (58%). The overall satisfaction rate among respondents was high. The median SWD score was significantly higher in the RRSO group compared with the PS group (P < .001). BRCA mutation carriers had higher median SWD scores regardless of management type (P = .01). Low satisfaction scores were associated with high levels of uncertainty and the perception that the decision between PS and RRSO was difficult to make (P = .001). Satisfaction was unrelated to demographics, clinical factors, or concerns of cancer risk.

Conclusions: In the current study, the majority of women who were at high risk for breast and ovarian cancer were satisfied with their choice of risk-reduction strategy. Difficulty with decision making was associated with lower satisfaction levels. Improved education and support through the decision-making process may enhance overall levels of satisfaction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Decision Making
  • Early Detection of Cancer*
  • Fallopian Tubes / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Ovariectomy*
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Primary Prevention / methods*
  • Quality of Life
  • Risk Reduction Behavior*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires