Demographic, health, and attitudinal factors predictive of cancer screening decisions in older adults

Nancy Schoenborn, Qian Li Xue, Craig Pollack, Ellen M. Janssen, John F.P. Bridges, Antonio C Wolff, Cynthia Boyd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Many older adults receive routine cancer screening even when it is no longer recommended. We sought to identify demographic, health-related, and attitudinal factors that are most predictive of continued breast, colorectal, and prostate cancer screening decisions in older adults under various scenarios. A sample of adults age 65+ (n = 1272) were recruited from a nationally representative panel in November 2016, of which 881 (69.3%) completed our survey. Participants were presented vignettes in which we experimentally varied a hypothetical patient's life expectancy, age, quality of life, and physician screening recommendation. The dependent variable was the choice to continue cancer screening in the vignette. Classification and regression tree (CART) analysis was used to identify characteristics most predictive of screening decisions; both the participants’ characteristics and the hypothetical patient's characteristics in the vignettes were included in the analysis. CART analysis uses recursive partitioning to create a classification tree in which variables predictive of the outcome are included as hierarchical tree nodes. We used automated ten-fold cross-validation to select the tree with lowest misclassification and highest predictive accuracy. Participants’ attitude towards cancer screening was most predictive of choosing screening. Among those who agreed with the statement “I plan to get screened for cancer for as long as I live” (n = 300, 31.9%), 73.2% chose screening and 57.2% would still choose screening if hypothetical patient had 1-year life expectancy. For this subset of older adults with enthusiasm towards screening even when presented with scenario involving limited life expectancy, efforts are needed to improve informed decision-making about screening.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)244-248
Number of pages5
JournalPreventive Medicine Reports
Volume13
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019

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Early Detection of Cancer
Life Expectancy
Demography
Health
Regression Analysis
Colorectal Neoplasms
Prostatic Neoplasms
Decision Making
Quality of Life
Breast Neoplasms
Physicians
Neoplasms

Keywords

  • Cancer screening
  • CART analysis
  • Decision-making
  • Life expectancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

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title = "Demographic, health, and attitudinal factors predictive of cancer screening decisions in older adults",
abstract = "Many older adults receive routine cancer screening even when it is no longer recommended. We sought to identify demographic, health-related, and attitudinal factors that are most predictive of continued breast, colorectal, and prostate cancer screening decisions in older adults under various scenarios. A sample of adults age 65+ (n = 1272) were recruited from a nationally representative panel in November 2016, of which 881 (69.3{\%}) completed our survey. Participants were presented vignettes in which we experimentally varied a hypothetical patient's life expectancy, age, quality of life, and physician screening recommendation. The dependent variable was the choice to continue cancer screening in the vignette. Classification and regression tree (CART) analysis was used to identify characteristics most predictive of screening decisions; both the participants’ characteristics and the hypothetical patient's characteristics in the vignettes were included in the analysis. CART analysis uses recursive partitioning to create a classification tree in which variables predictive of the outcome are included as hierarchical tree nodes. We used automated ten-fold cross-validation to select the tree with lowest misclassification and highest predictive accuracy. Participants’ attitude towards cancer screening was most predictive of choosing screening. Among those who agreed with the statement “I plan to get screened for cancer for as long as I live” (n = 300, 31.9{\%}), 73.2{\%} chose screening and 57.2{\%} would still choose screening if hypothetical patient had 1-year life expectancy. For this subset of older adults with enthusiasm towards screening even when presented with scenario involving limited life expectancy, efforts are needed to improve informed decision-making about screening.",
keywords = "Cancer screening, CART analysis, Decision-making, Life expectancy",
author = "Nancy Schoenborn and Xue, {Qian Li} and Craig Pollack and Janssen, {Ellen M.} and Bridges, {John F.P.} and Wolff, {Antonio C} and Cynthia Boyd",
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AU - Schoenborn, Nancy

AU - Xue, Qian Li

AU - Pollack, Craig

AU - Janssen, Ellen M.

AU - Bridges, John F.P.

AU - Wolff, Antonio C

AU - Boyd, Cynthia

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N2 - Many older adults receive routine cancer screening even when it is no longer recommended. We sought to identify demographic, health-related, and attitudinal factors that are most predictive of continued breast, colorectal, and prostate cancer screening decisions in older adults under various scenarios. A sample of adults age 65+ (n = 1272) were recruited from a nationally representative panel in November 2016, of which 881 (69.3%) completed our survey. Participants were presented vignettes in which we experimentally varied a hypothetical patient's life expectancy, age, quality of life, and physician screening recommendation. The dependent variable was the choice to continue cancer screening in the vignette. Classification and regression tree (CART) analysis was used to identify characteristics most predictive of screening decisions; both the participants’ characteristics and the hypothetical patient's characteristics in the vignettes were included in the analysis. CART analysis uses recursive partitioning to create a classification tree in which variables predictive of the outcome are included as hierarchical tree nodes. We used automated ten-fold cross-validation to select the tree with lowest misclassification and highest predictive accuracy. Participants’ attitude towards cancer screening was most predictive of choosing screening. Among those who agreed with the statement “I plan to get screened for cancer for as long as I live” (n = 300, 31.9%), 73.2% chose screening and 57.2% would still choose screening if hypothetical patient had 1-year life expectancy. For this subset of older adults with enthusiasm towards screening even when presented with scenario involving limited life expectancy, efforts are needed to improve informed decision-making about screening.

AB - Many older adults receive routine cancer screening even when it is no longer recommended. We sought to identify demographic, health-related, and attitudinal factors that are most predictive of continued breast, colorectal, and prostate cancer screening decisions in older adults under various scenarios. A sample of adults age 65+ (n = 1272) were recruited from a nationally representative panel in November 2016, of which 881 (69.3%) completed our survey. Participants were presented vignettes in which we experimentally varied a hypothetical patient's life expectancy, age, quality of life, and physician screening recommendation. The dependent variable was the choice to continue cancer screening in the vignette. Classification and regression tree (CART) analysis was used to identify characteristics most predictive of screening decisions; both the participants’ characteristics and the hypothetical patient's characteristics in the vignettes were included in the analysis. CART analysis uses recursive partitioning to create a classification tree in which variables predictive of the outcome are included as hierarchical tree nodes. We used automated ten-fold cross-validation to select the tree with lowest misclassification and highest predictive accuracy. Participants’ attitude towards cancer screening was most predictive of choosing screening. Among those who agreed with the statement “I plan to get screened for cancer for as long as I live” (n = 300, 31.9%), 73.2% chose screening and 57.2% would still choose screening if hypothetical patient had 1-year life expectancy. For this subset of older adults with enthusiasm towards screening even when presented with scenario involving limited life expectancy, efforts are needed to improve informed decision-making about screening.

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