Background: Implementation of risk-based prostate cancer screening has been proposed as a means to reduce the harms of PSA screening. Little is known, however, about the factors influencing men’s decision to attend a prostate cancer screening based on a risk assessment.
Method: We sent postal invitations with a login to a survey to 10.000 men, three months before invitation to a risk-based prostate cancer screening. Prostate cancer specific worry, prostate cancer-related knowledge, health behaviour, and health related quality of life were used as predictors of subsequent participation. Participation to risk-based prostate cancer screening was defined as providing a blood sample for the STHLM3 trial, a study evaluating a risk-based model that predicts the risk for aggressive prostate cancer.
Results: With a response rate of 20%, 1.347 men (70%) participated in ensuing risk-based prostate cancer screening three months later whereas 568 men (30%) declined participation in the STHLM3-study. These decliners reported less worry and feeling less vulnerable to prostate cancer and responded “Do not know” more often than participants when asked questions about prostate cancer knowledge. Participants reported greater benefits of prostate testing (p = 0.0005), less barriers to prostate testing (p<0.0001), and higher intention to attend prostate cancer testing (p<0.0001) than decliners. Finally, participants reported better overall health than decliners (p<0.0001).
Conclusion: Prostate cancer worry, PC knowledge, health behaviour and quality of life were identified as predictors of participation in risk-based prostate cancer screening. Targeting these predictors may improve the participation rates. These results can inform policymaking for future population-based prostate cancer screening programs that should address potential worry in men and lack of knowledge about prostate cancer.