Talking About Your Prostate: Perspectives from Providers and Community Members

Prostate cancer (PrCA) screening is controversial, especially for African-American (AA) men who have higher PrCA incidence and mortality than other racial/ethnic groups. Patient-provider communication is important for the PrCA screening decision process. The study purpose was to better understand the current dialogue between primary care providers (PCPs—physicians and nurse practitioners) and AA men about PrCA prevention and screening. An online survey with 46 PCPs, education sessions (including pre/post surveys) with 56 AA men, and a forum with 5 panelists and 38 AA men for open dialogue were held to examine both provider and community perspectives on PrCA communication needs and practices. PCPs’ perceptions of PrCA screening were varied and they used different PrCA screening guidelines in their practices. PCPs and AA men had different experiences with PrCA communication. PCPs reported that they have discussions about PrCA screening and prostate health with AA patients; few AA men reported these same experiences. About 38.0% of PCPs reported that they remain neutral about PSA testing during discussions; however, only 10.7% of AA men reported that their doctor remained neutral. Prostate health knowledge among AA men increased significantly following participation in the education sessions (p<0.001). AA community members reported high satisfaction regarding the education session and forum. Different recommendations from PCPs may hinder AA men’s decisions about PrCA screening. The forum used in this study could be a model for others to help improve patient-provider communication and increase engagement in dialogue about this common cancer.

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Citation: Choi, S. K., Seel, J. S., Steck, S. E., Payne, J., McCormick, D., Schrock, C. S., & Friedman, D. B. (2017). Talking about your prostate: Perspectives from providers and community members. Journal of Cancer Education, 1-9. DOI: 10.1007/s13187-017-1205-8.

Acknowledgements: This study was funded by the South Carolina Cancer Alliance. Friedman and Seel are partially supported by the South Carolina Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network under Cooperative Agreement Number U48/DP005000-01S2 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Prevention Research Centers) and the National Cancer Institute.