Degree Name

DrPH (Doctor of Public Health)


Public Health

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

MaryAnn Littleton

Committee Members

Deborah Slawson, Megan Quinn


The national recommendations for use of the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test for prostate cancer screening have been modified over the years as scientific evidence emerged. Current screening recommendations discourage widespread PSA screening for men at low to average risk, but provide specific guidelines for shared-decision making between men and their health providers about the benefits and risks of PSA testing. This study was an examination of relationships between men’s assessment of the quality of their care and communication with their health providers, the extent to which providers engage men in recommended discussions about PSA testing, and factors associated with shared-decision making and PSA testing. Secondary data from the U.S. Health Information National Trends Survey 4, Cycle 2 that included men with no history of prostate cancer and in the recommended age ranges for prostate cancer screening were analyzed (N=777). Non-Hispanic white men rated their quality of care higher than men of other races (c2 (49, n=635) = 7.23, p = 0.0098), whereas Hispanic men gave the lowest ratings compared to other men (c2 (49, n=635) = 5.42, p = 0.024). Previous PSA testing was reported by 64% of the men, 56% of whom stated that they discussed screening with their provider and 80% reported that they were asked if they wanted to have the test done. However, only 21% - 39% reported having ever discussed the pros and cons of PSA testing. Discussing PSA testing with a provider was the strongest predictor of obtaining the test (OR=69.5, CI = 23.6 – 204.6) but the effect was significantly modified when providers and patients engaged in the shared-decision making process (OR = 47.42, CI = 14.91 – 150.74). Age, education level and perceived quality of care were consistent, positive predictors of PSA testing. These results indicate there is a gap in provider-patient discussions about PSA screening and suggest that health providers may not be following the recommended guidelines for the content of the discussions needed to facilitate shared-decision making. Effective provider-based interventions to increase shared-decision-making about PSA testing are needed if the national objectives for prostate cancer screening are to be met.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.