Prostate cancer survivors' beliefs about screening and treatment decision-making experiences in an era of controversy - Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Controversy about the costs and benefits of screening and treatment of prostate cancer (PCa) has recently intensified.

However, the impact of the debate on PCa patients has not been systematically studied.

METHODS: We assessed knowledge of, and attitudes toward, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force's (USPSTF) May 2012 recommendation against PSA-based screening among men diagnosed with clinically localized PCa, and tested whether exposure to the recommendation and associated controversy about overtreatment of PCa predicted treatment decisional conflict, affected treatment choice, or increased regret about PSA testing.

RESULTS: Accurate knowledge of the USPSTF recommendation was uncommon (19.1%). Attitudes toward the recommendation were negative, and the vast majority (86.5%) remained highly supportive of annual PSA testing in men ≥50. Although exposure to the recommendation and controversy about treatment was associated with lower enthusiasm for screening and treatment, it was not associated with treatment decisions, or greater decisional-conflict, or regret.

CONCLUSIONS: Findings may alleviate concern that exposure to PSA-based screening and overtreatment controversies has adversely affected recent cohorts of PCa patients. However, patients remain highly supportive of PSA-based screening. As survivor anecdotes often influence people's medical decisions, it is important to appreciate the scale of opposition to the new recommendation.

Written by:
Orom H, Underwood W 3rd, Homish DL, Kiviniemi MT, Homish GG, Nelson CJ, Schiffman Z.   Are you the author?
Community Health and Health Behavior, University at Buffalo, 3435 Main St., Buffalo, NY, 14214, USA.

Reference: Psychooncology. 2014 Nov 10. Epub ahead of print.
doi: 10.1002/pon.3721

PubMed Abstract
PMID: 25382436 Prostate Cancer Section