Print-based and online tools presenting the benefits and limitations of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing served to help men resolve their own conflicts regarding such screening, but did not affect their decision as to whether or not to undergo this type of testing.
The conflicting recommendations for prostate cancer screening and the mixed messages regarding the effectiveness of such testing make it critical to assist men in making informed decisions about undergoing PSA testing, asserted Kathryn L. Taylor, PhD, and associates in JAMA Internal Medicine.
The team conducted an analysis of male outpatients from three sites who had been randomized to a print-based decision aid (n=628), a Web-based interactive decision aid (n=625), or usual care (n=626). The men, aged 45 to 70 years, were interviewed by telephone at baseline, at 1 month, and at 13 months.
Taylor and colleagues found that prostate cancer knowledge was significantly improved and decisional conflict was significantly reduced in the intervention groups compared with the usual-care patients at 1 month and at 13 months. However, screening rates at 13 months did not differ significantly among groups.
The researchers concluded that both print-based and Web-based decision aids helped men make more informed choices regarding screening for prostate cancer up to 13 months later, but did not affect actual screening rates. Taylor and coauthors suggested that dissemination of such decision aids may be a valuable public-health tool.