Publication Abstract

Authors: Chamot E, Charvet AI, Perneger TV

Title: Variability in women's desire for information about mammography screening: implications for informed consent.

Journal: Eur J Cancer Prev 14(4):413-8

Date: 2005 Aug

Abstract: This study aimed to explore women's desire for information about mammography screening in a population where overly optimistic perceptions of mammography screening were common. A self-administered questionnaire was completed by 2305 women aged 50-69 years, residents of Geneva, Switzerland. The questionnaire assessed the respondents' wish to receive information (detailed, general or none) about seven aspects of mammography screening: personal risk of breast cancer, prevention of breast cancer, benefits of mammography screening, limitations, minor inconveniences, more important problems, why some people oppose screening. The seven items formed a unidimensional scale (Cronbach's alpha=0.91). Women differed considerably in their stated desire for detailed or general information. For instance, whereas 14% wanted detailed information on all items and 36% general information on all items, 39% were not interested in detailed information on the limits and adverse consequences of screening. In multivariate analysis, some women's characteristics were associated with higher scores of desire for information, but little variance was explained (adjusted R=0.05). In conclusion, many women currently decline information about mammography screening that is deemed relevant by public health authorities. This may lead to poorly informed choices in an important area of prevention.