Discussions About Prostate Cancer Screening Between U.S. Primary Care Physicians and Their Patients
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This study examined the likelihood that U.S. primary care physicians (PCPs) discuss and recommend prostate cancer screening with their patients and physician-related and practice-related factors associated with this behavior.
We analyzed data from the 2007–2008 National Survey of Primary Care Physician Practices Regarding Prostate Cancer Screening (N = 1,256), the most recent and comprehensive survey specifically designed to address issues concerning prostate cancer screening and representing nearly 95,000 PCPs. We evaluated the relationship between PCP behavior regarding prostate cancer screening discussions and covariates, including PCP demographic and practice-related factors. Weighted percentages and Chi-square tests were used to compare use of screening discussions by PCP characteristics. Adjusted odds of discussing screening and recommending the PSA test were determined from logistic regression.
Eighty percent of PCPs reported that they routinely discuss prostate cancer screening with all of their male patients, and 64.1% of PCPs who discussed screening with any patients reported that they attempted to talk their patients into getting the PSA test. In multivariate analyses, encouraging PSA testing was more likely among non-Hispanic black PCPs (OR = 2.80, 95% CI [1.88, 4.16]), PCPs serving 100 or more patients per week (OR = 2.16, 95% CI [1.38, 3.37]), and PCPs spending longer hours per week in direct patient care (31–40 hours: OR = 1.90, 95% CI [1.13, 3.20]; 41 or more hours: OR = 2.09, 95% CI [1.12, 3.88]), compared to their referents. PCPs in multi-specialty group practice were more likely to remain neutral or discourage PSA testing compared to PCPs in solo practice.
Both individual and practice-related factors of PCPs were associated with the use of prostate cancer screening discussions by U.S. PCPs. Results from this study may prove valuable to researchers and clinicians and help guide the development and implementation of future prostate cancer screening interventions in the U.S.