The Breast Cancer Screening Information Study was designed to evaluate a new information booklet (or 'decision aid') aiming to provide clear and useful information for women about breast cancer screening.

The study was conducted by a group of researchers in the School of Public Health at The University of Sydney, led by Professor Kirsten McCaffery, with Dr Jolyn Hersch coordinating the study. The University of Sydney Human Research Ethics Committee approved the study. It was prospectively registered with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry, and was funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council.

The study compared two versions of the information booklet. It was a randomised controlled trial, meaning a random process was used to decide by chance which version would be sent to each participant. Both versions of the booklet explained that screening leads to fewer women dying from breast cancer, and that screening also leads to some false positive results. One version also contained some additional new information about over-detection. Over-detection means finding a breast cancer through screening that would otherwise never cause any symptoms or health problems in the woman’s life.

The participants in this study were recruited in 2014 from around New South Wales. About 900 women took part in the study. After reading the information booklet, these women answered questions in a series of telephone interviews between 2014 and 2016. The researchers are very grateful to all the women who volunteered their time to contribute to this study.

Since the study began, the BreastScreen Australia program has expanded its target age range. The program now invites women to attend screening over a period of 25 years, from age 50 to age 74. The information booklet was updated in 2017 to reflect this change.

Below you can find the updated booklet, as well as several articles that have been published about the study in peer-reviewed scientific journals. More papers will be added to this website as further analysis continues.

If you would like a printed copy of the information booklet or any of the articles, please contact the Study Coordinator, Dr Jolyn Hersch, on jolyn.hersch@sydney.edu.au or (+612) 9036 9042.

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