Men Still Undergo PSA Testing Despite USPSTF Guidelines

Men Still Want PSA Testing Despite Guidance, Risks
Men Still Want PSA Testing Despite Guidance, Risks

The October 2011 U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendation advising against prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing may be met with resistance by men, according to a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Linda B. Squiers, Ph.D., from RTI International in Rockville, Md., and colleagues analyzed data from a web survey of men aged 40 to 74 years that was conducted from Nov. 22 to Dec. 2, 2011.

The researchers found that, of 1,089 male respondents without a history of prostate cancer, 62 percent agreed with the recommendation against PSA testing. Disagreement with the recommendation was significantly associated with age and worry about getting prostate cancer. Thirteen percent of respondents planned to follow the USPSTF recommendation and not get a PSA test in the future; 54 percent did not plan to follow the recommendation and did plan to get a PSA test in the future; and 33 percent were undecided. Not intending to follow the guidelines was positively associated with black race, higher income, having a PSA test in the past two years, and being somewhat/very worried about getting prostate cancer.

"We need to do a better job of presenting both the benefits and harms of screening to all patients and explaining the science behind the recommendation in plain language so everyone can understand it," Squiers said in a statement.

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