Navigation Links
Psychological Science explains uproar over prostate-cancer screenings
Date:5/22/2012

WASHINGTON The uproar that began last year when the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force stated that doctors should no longer offer regular prostate-cancer tests to healthy men continued this week when the task force released their final report. Overall, they stuck to their guns, stating that a blood test commonly used to screen for prostate cancer, the PSA test, causes more harm than good it leads men to receive unnecessary, and sometimes even dangerous, treatments.

But many people simply don't believe that the test is ineffective. Even faced with overwhelming evidence, such as a ten-year study of around 250,000 men that showed the test didn't save lives, many activists and medical professionals are clamoring for men to continue receiving their annual PSA test. Why the disconnect?

In an article published in Psychological Science, a publication of the Association for Psychological Science, researchers Hal R. Arkes, of Ohio State University, and Wolfgang Gaismaier, from the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, Germany, picked apart laypeople's reactions to the report, and examined the reasons why people are so reluctant to give up the PSA test.

"Many folks who had a PSA test and think that it saved their life are infuriated that the Task Force seems to be so negative about the test," said Arkes.

They suggest several factors that may have contributed to the public's condemnation of the report. Many studies have shown that anecdotes have power over a person's perceptions of medical treatments. For example, a person can be shown statistics that Treatment A works less frequently than Treatment B, but if they read anecdotes (such as comments on a website) by other patients who had success with Treatment B, they'll be more likely to pick Treatment B. The source of the anecdotes matters too. If a friend, a close relative, or any trusted source received successful treatment, they would be more likely to recommend that treatment to others, even if there was evidence showing the treatment only works for a minority of people.

Arkes and Gaismaier also propose that the public may have recoiled against the task force's recommendations so fiercely because they weren't able to properly evaluate the data in the report. Confusion over the use of control groups may have led people in the general public to weigh the data differently than medical professionals did.

"How to change this is the million-dollar question," said Arkes. "Pictorial displays are far easier to comprehend than statistics. The two figures in our article depict the situation more clearly than text and numbers can do. I think data displayed in this manner can help change people's view of the PSA test because we compare the relative outcomes of being tested and not being tested. Without that comparison, it is tough for the public to appreciate the relative pluses and minuses of the PSA test versus not having the PSA test."

Men will be able to continue to request the PSA test, and it will be covered by health insurance for the foreseeable future. But psychological science suggests that unless people are convinced to choose statistics over anecdotes, confusion surrounding the test's effectiveness will linger.


'/>"/>

Contact: Anna Mikulak
amikulak@psychologicalscience.org
202-293-9300
Association for Psychological Science
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Five Organizations Receive APAs Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award, Ten Honored for Best Practices
2. New study reveals prevalence of cyberbullying and its psychological impact on nonheterosexual youth
3. Association for Psychological Science 22nd Annual Convention
4. Childhood psychological problems create long-term economic losses, study finds
5. Kids Psychological Problems Have Long-Term Effects
6. Psychological intervention provides enduring health benefits for women with breast cancer
7. Psychological research conducted in WEIRD nations may not apply to global populations
8. Study: How Palestinian and Israeli children are psychologically scarred by exposure to war
9. Screen time linked to psychological problems in children
10. Could Excess Computer, TV Time Harm Kids Psychologically?
11. New research from Psychological Science
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/26/2016)... Pittsburgh, PA (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2016 ... ... transplantation, and one that has a significant negative impact on long-term patient survival, ... to date. The results, published online this week in the Journal of Thoracic ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... solutions for drugs, biologics, consumer health and global clinical supply services, today announced ... to support the company’s continued investment and strategic growth plans in the Asia ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... In an effort to provide hair restoration information to the ... users and those who do not use the app. Dr. Mohebi, the founder of Parsa ... Dr. Mohebi Live . , Dr. Mohebi says, “The positive response to the Snapchat ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... 26, 2016 , ... Eating Recovery Center, Washington ... a brand new child and adolescent residential treatment center on June 1. The ... more specialized eating disorder treatment and access to life-saving care. , To celebrate, ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Nike Yoga Camps at ... daily practices, arts & crafts, discussions, and games all geared towards enhancing your ... have combined backgrounds in kids’ yoga, collegiate sport yoga instruction, and global yoga ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/26/2016)... TARE (Transarterial Radio-embolization) Using ... and Overall Decreased Use of Hospital Resource ... specialist healthcare company, has today announced the publication ... of ISPOR (International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes ... using yttrium-90 glass microspheres is associated with cost ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... , May 26, 2016 Since ... matured into an essential life science tool for conducting ... applications. BCC Research reveals in its new report that ... growth phase, one powered by a range of new ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140723/694805 ) , ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... May 25, 2016 According to ... Type (3D, 2D, 4D), by Therapeutic Area (Oncology, Cosmeceutical/Plastic ... User (Medical Device Manufacturers, Hospitals/ Clinics) - Forecast to ... Medical Animation Market for the forecast period of 2016 ... 301.3 Million by 2021 from USD 117.3 Million in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: