Background Although the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test is widely used to screen for prostate cancer, there is very little information on the characteristics of men who are aware of the PSA test, and their patterns of PSA testing.
Methods A cross-sectional study used computer assisted telephone interviews to collect data in New South Wales, Australia. Multinomial logistic regression identified the factors independently associated with the awareness of, and participation in PSA testing.
Results Of the 6100 men, 39% were unaware of the PSA test, 12% were aware of the PSA test but never tested, 14% had a non-recent PSA test, and 35% had a recent PSA test. Unaware men were more likely to be born outside Australia (OR=1.19; 95% CI 0.88 to 1.60), have a blue-collar occupation (OR=1.38; 95% CI 1.00 to 1.91), be a current smoker (OR=1.99; 95% CI 1.30 to 3.05), or have benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) (OR=1.70; 95% CI 1.07 to 2.71), and less likely to have completed a higher school certificate (OR=0.44; 95% CI 0.24 to 0.79), or live in inner regional areas (OR=0.59; 95% CI 0.44 to 0.80). Men who did not have a recent test, were more likely to visit the doctor (OR=1.38; 95% CI 1.05 to 1.82), or have BPH (OR=2.70; 95% CI 1.74 to 4.20), and were less unsure of their risk of developing prostate cancer (OR=0.61; 95% CI 0.37 to 1.00). Men who had a recent test were more likely to visit the doctor (OR=2.57; 95% CI 1.99 to 3.33), have BPH (OR=3.87; 95% CI 2.58 to 5.81), or have a higher perceived risk of developing prostate cancer (OR=1.99; 95% CI 1.22 to 3.26), and less likely to be other than married (OR=0.65; 95% CI 0.47 to 0.91).
Conclusions As men's PSA testing experience varied by demographic, lifestyle and health-related factors, it is important for policymakers and physicians to consider these when communicating about PSA testing.
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