Motivators of Inappropriate Ovarian Cancer Screening: A Survey of Women and Their Clinicians

kConFab Investigators

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Background: This study examined why women and doctors screen for ovarian cancer (OC) contrary to guidelines. Methods: Surveys, based on the Theoretical Domains Framework, were sent to women in the Kathleen CuninghamFoundation Consortium for Research into Familial Breast Cancer and family physicians and gynecologists who organized their screening. Results: Of 1264 Kathleen Cuningham Foundation Consortium for Research into Familial Breast Cancer women, 832 (65.8%) responded. In the past 2 years, 126 (15.1%) had screened. Most of these (n = 101, 80.2%) would continue even if their doctor told them it is ineffective. For women, key OC screening motivators operated in the domains of social role and goals (staying healthy for family, 93.9%), emotion and reinforcement (peace of mind, 93.1%), and beliefs about capabilities (tests are easy to have, 91.9%). Of 531 clinicians 252 (47.5%) responded; a minority (family physicians 45.8%, gynecologists 16.7%) thought OC screening was useful. For gynecologists, the main motivators of OC screening operated in the domains of environmental context (lack of other screening options, 27.6%), and emotion (patient peace of mind, 17.2%; difficulty discontinuing screening, 13.8%). For family physicians,, the strongest motivators were in the domains of social influence (women ask for these tests, 20.7%), goals (a chance these tests will detect cancer early, 16.4%), emotion (patient peace of mind, 13.8%), and environmental context (no other OC screening options, 11.2%). Conclusion: Reasons for OC screening are mostly patient driven. Clinician knowledge and practice are discordant. Motivators of OC screening encompass several domains, which could be targeted in interventions to reduce inappropriate OC screening.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberpkaa110
Number of pages10
JournalJNCI Cancer Spectrum
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021


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