Revisiting Prostate Cancer Screening Practices Among Vermont Primary Care Physicians

The objective of this study was to assess the prostate cancer screening practices of Vermont primary care physicians and compare them with a prior study in 2001. An electronic survey was created and emailed to all currently practicing primary care physicians in Vermont. Data was stratified by practice length, practice location, university affiliation, and internal medicine versus family practice. Surveys were received from 123 (27.2%) primary care physicians. 27.7% of physicians in practice <10 years recommended prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing, compared with 55.9% of those practicing ≥10 years (p = 0.006). Of those who modified their recommendations in the past 5 years, 96.1% reported that the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) 2012 statement influenced them. Respondents who continued to use PSA testing were less likely to stop screening after age 80 compared with those surveyed in 2001 (51% in 2014 vs. 74% in 2001; p <0.001). Primary care physicians in practice for 10 or more years were more likely to recommend PSA-based screening than those in practice for less time. The USPSTF statement discouraging PSA-based screening for prostate cancer has had significant penetrance among Vermont primary care physicians.

Journal of community health. 2017 Jun 15 [Epub ahead of print]

Laura Donnelly, Kevan M Sternberg, Takamaru Ashikaga, Mark K Plante, Scott D Perrapato

Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, 05401, USA. ., Division of Urology, Department of Surgery, Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, USA., Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, USA.