We interviewed 17 physicians caring for men with prostate cancer and 22 patients with low risk prostate cancer (39 total) at three Veterans Administration medical centers. We found that physicians, not patients, were influencing imaging rates. Patients tended to trust their doctor, were more interested in the cancer treatment, and many could not remember if they had imaging at all. Alternatively, physicians reported that they were aware of the guidelines but often followed their own intuition, directions from imaging-avid colleagues, or the medical facility’s tendency to image more or less. They also reported a fear of “missing something” as well as medico-legal concerns.
Our research team’s ultimate goal is to ensure that men with prostate cancer receive high quality, evidence based care. Our findings from this research will inform the next iteration of our work.
Written By: Erica Sedlander, MPH, Department of Urology, NYU Langone Medical Center & Department of Population Health, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York, NY
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