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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Memphis Leads Study on Patient–Provider Communication about Prostate Cancer Screening and Treatment

A study led by Dr. Soumitra Bhuyan, an assistant professor of health systems management and policy at the University of Memphis School Of Public Health and a research fellow with the Methodist Le Bonheur Center for Healthcare Economics at the University of Memphis examined the extent of communication between patients and health care providers about prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening and treatment of prostate cancer (PCa), as well as to examine the patient-specific factors associated with such communication. Four domains of the patient-provider communication included in this study are (1) expert opinion of PSA testing, (2) accuracy of PSA testing, (3) side effects of PCa treatment, and (4) treatment need of PCa. The study findings suggested low level of communication for PSA testing and treatment of PCa across the four domains. Less than 10 percent of the respondents report having communication about all four domains. There are few discussions about PSA testing and PCa treatment options between healthcare providers and their patients, which limits the shared decision-making process for PCa screening and treatment as recommended by the current best practice guidelines.

Dr. Soumitra Bhuyan
[Photo: Dr. Soumitra Bhuyan]

The study used recent data from the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) database. The HINTS is a nationally representative survey administered by the National Cancer Institute, which focuses on cancer, health communication, and health information environment among the American adult population. The study found that patient characteristics like recent medical check-up, regular health care provider, global health status, age group, marital status, race, annual household income, and already having undergone a PSA test are associated with patient-provider communication. The study was done in collaboration with researchers from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha.

The findings from this study were published online on November 26 in the the American Journal of Men’s Health

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