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Younger women may reconsider breast cancer screening after using decision aids

11 Oct, 17 | by ashorten

Decision aids are designed to help patients weigh up the benefits and tradeoffs for a wide range of healthcare screening and treatment decisions. In addition they help patients take into account their individual risk profile, values and preferences. One of our most recent EBN commentaries explores an interesting study about the use of decision aids for supporting women’s decision making about mammographic screening for breast cancer, across different age groups. Expert commentators Dr Jolyn Hersch and Dr. Kirsten McCaffery from the School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Australia, highlight the work of Ivlev, Hickman, McDonagh and Eden (1) who examined the effect of using decision aids to help women consider whether to undergo mammographic screening. The systematic review and meta-analysis of RCTs and observational studies found that using a decision aid increased screening reluctance and prompted younger women (38–50 years) to reconsider whether to undergo mammography. These findings are relevant for providers who counsel women about health screening plans. Read more about this interesting study, implications for clinical practice and recommendations for future research –

Hersch J, McCaffery K. (2017) Using a decision aid may prompt some younger women (38–50 years) to rethink breast cancer screening plans, Evidence Based Nursing,

Original Article:
Ivlev I, Hickman EN, McDonagh MS, et al. Use of patient decision aids increased younger women’s reluctance to begin screening mammography: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Gen Intern Med 2017;32:802–13.

Professor Allison Shorten, Director Center for Interprofessional Education and Simulation, University of Alabama, and Associate Editor Evidence-Based Nursing

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