Interventions to Improve Decision Making and Reduce Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Management of Prostate Cancer

African American men have lower rates of early detection of prostate cancer and higher rates of diagnosis. Furthermore, African American men are more than twice as likely to die from prostate cancer compared to White men.

Over the past 25 years recommended guidelines have changed about serum prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing. Annual PSA tests were once recommended for all men over age 50. Recently updated guidelines by the United States Preventive Services Task Force do not recommended routine PSA testing. “Despite these shifting guidelines,” the authors write, “the call for informed decision-making for all men, including ethnic minorities, has remained a constant.”

To better understand prostate cancer for minorities, these researchers conducted a systematic review of the literature summarizing interventions to improve informed decision-making about prostate cancer detection among minorities, and quality of life among minority prostate cancer survivors.

They found 19 studies that fell into four intervention types:

  1. Educational program
  2. Printed material/booklets
  3. Telephone/videotape/DVD
  4. Web-based

The studies did increase participants’ prostate cancer knowledge or improve their self-efficacy for decision-making about screening or symptom management. However, the studies evaluated changes on the day the intervention ended, with the long-term effects unknown.