Information on pros and cons of prostate-specific antigen testing to men prior to blood draw: a study from the National Prostate Cancer Register (NPCR) of Sweden

Scand J Urol Nephrol. 2012 Oct;46(5):326-31. doi: 10.3109/00365599.2012.691110. Epub 2012 May 31.


Objective: Recent guidelines on serum testing of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels in asymptomatic men emphasize the importance of an informed decision. This study assessed the proportion of men who had received written or oral information on the possible consequences of testing of serum levels of PSA before blood draw.

Material and methods: From the National Prostate Cancer Register (NPCR) in Sweden, 600 men per year were randomly selected out of all men with T1c prostate cancer who were diagnosed in the work-up of a PSA test as a part of health examination in 2006-2008. In a mailed questionnaire these men were asked whether and how they had been informed about the pros and cons of a PSA test prior to blood draw.

Results: In total, 1621 out of 1800 men (90.1%) responded to the questionnaire; 39/1563 (2.5%) reported that they had received only written information before testing, 179/1563 (11.5%) had received both oral and written information, 763/1563 (48.8%) had received oral information only, 423/1563 (27.1%) had not received any information and 159/1563 (10.2%) were not aware of that a PSA test had been performed.

Conclusions: The proportion of men who had received written information on the pros and cons of a PSA test before blood draw in the setting of a health examination was low. Improved routines for giving information to the patient before a PSA test are warranted.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Decision Making
  • Early Detection of Cancer
  • Humans
  • Informed Consent / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Education as Topic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / blood*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Prostate-Specific Antigen