The effect of physician recommendation on enrollment in the Breast Cancer Chemoprevention Trial

Prev Med. Sep-Oct 1998;27(5 Pt 1):713-9. doi: 10.1006/pmed.1998.0349.


Background: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of physician recommendation on whether to enroll in a randomized controlled chemoprevention trial for breast cancer.

Methods: We surveyed 360 women who were at increased risk for breast cancer regarding social and behavioral factors that could influence their decision to enroll or not to enroll in the Breast Cancer Prevention Trial (BCPT). Respondents completed a questionnaire following attendance at an informational session about the trial. The analysis was restricted to 175 women who discussed the possibility of their participation in the trial with their primary care physician (PCP) and who reported what their physician advised them to do regarding participation.

Results: Logistic regression modeling showed that among women who discussed the trial with their physician, physician recommendation was the most important factor that influenced the respondent's decision to enroll in the BCPT. Women who reported that their physician advised them to enroll in the trial were 13 times more likely to participate than were women who reported that their physicians advised them not to participate.

Conclusions: The results of our study show that PCPs play an important role in influencing preventive health behavior, specifically, regarding enrollment in a randomized breast cancer chemoprevention trial. Efforts to increase recruitment to a trial should include enlisting the support of PCPs.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Breast Neoplasms / etiology
  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Counseling / statistics & numerical data*
  • Decision Making*
  • Family Practice / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology*
  • Patient Selection*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic*
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tamoxifen / therapeutic use*


  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Tamoxifen