Responses to a Decision Aid on Prostate Cancer Screening in Primary Care Practices

Am J Prev Med. 2015 Oct;49(4):520-5. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2015.03.002. Epub 2015 May 8.


Introduction: Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing remains controversial, with most guidelines recommending shared decision making. This study describes men's PSA screening preferences before and after viewing a decision aid and relates these preferences to subsequent clinician visit content.

Methods: Men were recruited from two health systems in 2009-2013. Participants answered a questionnaire before and after decision aid viewing addressing PSA screening preferences and five basic knowledge questions. At one health system, participants also answered a survey after a subsequent clinician visit. Data were analyzed in 2014.

Results: One thousand forty-one predominantly white, well-educated men responded to the pre- and post-viewing questionnaire (25% and 29% response rates at the two sites). After viewing, the proportion of patients leaning away from PSA screening increased significantly (p<0.001), with 386 (38%) leaning toward PSA screening versus 436 (43%) before viewing; 174 (17%) unsure versus 319 (32%) before; and 448 (44%) leaning away versus 253 (25%) before. Higher knowledge scores were associated with being more likely to lean against screening and less likely to be unsure (p<0.001). Among 278 men who also completed a questionnaire after a subsequent clinician visit, participants who planned to discuss PSA screening with their clinicians were significantly more likely to report such discussions than participants who did not (148/217 [68%] vs 16/46 [35%], respectively [p<0.001]).

Conclusions: A decision aid reduces men's interest in PSA screening, particularly among the initially unsure. Men who plan to discuss PSA screening with their clinician after a decision aid are more likely to do so.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Decision Support Techniques*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Preference / statistics & numerical data
  • Primary Health Care*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnosis*