Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 26, Issue 10, pp 1098–1104 | Cite as

Discussions About Prostate Cancer Screening Between U.S. Primary Care Physicians and Their Patients

  • Ingrid J. Hall
  • Yhenneko J. Taylor
  • Louie E. Ross
  • Lisa C. Richardson
  • Thomas B. Richards
  • Sun Hee Rim
Original Research



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.


primary care physicians prostate cancer screening prostate-specific antigen physician–patient discussions prostate cancer 



1)Contributors: All contributors are listed as co-authors

2)Funders: This work was funded by the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

3)Prior presentations: Hall IJ, Ross LE, Richardson LC, Taylor YJ. Primary Care Physicians’ Discussions about Prostate Cancer Screening. Poster presented at NIH Summit on Health Disparities, National Harbor, MD, December, 2008

Conflict of Interest

None disclosed.

Supplementary material

11606_2011_1682_MOESM1_ESM.doc (63 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 63 kb)


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Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ingrid J. Hall
    • 1
  • Yhenneko J. Taylor
    • 2
  • Louie E. Ross
    • 3
  • Lisa C. Richardson
    • 1
  • Thomas B. Richards
    • 1
  • Sun Hee Rim
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Public Health SciencesUniversity of North Carolina at CharlotteCharlotteUSA
  3. 3.Ross-Holmes Group LLCRaleighUSA

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