Original Article

Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 466-471

First online:

Informing Men about Prostate Cancer Screening: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Patient Education Materials

  • Dragan IlicAffiliated withMonash Institute of Health Services Research, Monash University Email author 
  • , Kristine EgbertsAffiliated withMonash Institute of Health Services Research, Monash University
  • , Joanne E. McKenzieAffiliated withMonash Institute of Health Services Research, Monash University
  • , Gail RisbridgerAffiliated withCentre for Urological Research, Monash Institute of Medical Research, Monash University
  • , Sally GreenAffiliated withMonash Institute of Health Services Research, Monash University

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Patient education materials can assist patient decision making on prostate cancer screening.


To explore the effectiveness of presenting health information on prostate cancer screening using video, internet, and written interventions on patient decision making, attitudes, knowledge, and screening interest.


Randomized controlled trial.


A total of 161 men aged over 45, who had never been screened for prostate cancer, were randomized to receive information on prostate cancer screening.


Participants were assessed at baseline and 1-week postintervention for decisional conflict, screening interest, knowledge, anxiety, and decision-making preference.


A total of 156 men were followed-up at 1-week postintervention. There was no statistical, or clinical, difference in mean change in decisional conflict scores between the 3 intervention groups (video vs internet −0.06 [95% CI −0.24 to 0.12]; video vs pamphlet 0.04 [95%CI −0.15 to 0.22]; internet vs pamphlet 0.10 [95%CI −0.09 to 0.28]). There was also no statistically significant difference in mean knowledge, anxiety, decision-making preference, and screening interest between the 3 intervention groups.


Results from this study indicate that there are no clinically significant differences in decisional conflict when men are presented health information on prostate cancer screening via video, written materials, or the internet. Given the equivalence of the 3 methods, other factors need to be considered in deciding which method to use. Health professionals should provide patient health education materials via a method that is most convenient to the patient and their preferred learning style.


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