The Influence of Decision Aids on Prostate Cancer Screening Preferences: A Randomized Survey Study

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Abstract

Purpose

Shared decision making is recommended in regard to prostate cancer screening. Decision aids may facilitate this process but the impact of decision aids on screening preferences is poorly understood.

Materials and Methods

In an online survey we randomized a national sample of adults to the online decision aids of 1 of 6 professional societies. We compared survey responses before and after decision aid exposure. The primary outcome was the change in participant likelihood of undergoing or recommending prostate cancer screening on a scale of 1—unlikely to 100—extremely likely. Secondary outcomes included change in participant comfort with prostate cancer screening based on the average of 6, 5-point Likert-scale questions.

Results

Median age was 53 years in the 1,336 participants and 50% were men. The randomized groups did not differ significantly by race, age, gender, income, marital status or education level. The likelihood of undergoing or recommending prostate cancer screening decreased from 83 to 78 following decision aid exposure (p <0.001). Reviewing the decision aid from the Centers for Disease Control or the American Academy of Family Physicians did not alter the likelihood (each p >0.2). However, the decision aid from the United States Preventive Services Task Force was associated with the largest decrease in screening preference (–16.0, p <0.001). Participants reported increased comfort (from 3.5 to 4.1 of 5) with the decision making process of prostate cancer screening following exposure to a decision aid (p <0.001).

Conclusions

Exposure to a decision aid decreased the participant likelihood of undergoing or recommending prostate cancer screening and increased comfort with the screening process.

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