Breast Cancer Screening Information Study
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or (+612) 9036 9042.
How information about overdetection changes breast cancer screening decisions: a mediation analysis within a randomised controlled trial Published 2017-10-06Objectives: In a randomised controlled trial, we found that informing women about overdetection changed their breast screening decisions. We now present a mediation analysis exploring the psychological pathways through ...Article
Use of a decision aid including information on overdetection to support informed choice about breast cancer screening: A randomised controlled trial Published 2015-04-25Background: Mammography screening can reduce breast cancer mortality. However, most women are unaware that inconsequential disease can also be detected by screening, leading to overdiagnosis and overtreatment. We aimed to ...Article
Published 2017-04-18Why is there a decision to make about having breast cancer screening? Many people think screening for early signs of breast cancer is always a good thing. But breast screening has advantages and disadvantages. This booklet ...Other
Overdetection in breast cancer screening: Development and preliminary evaluation of a decision aid Published 2014-09-25Objective: To develop, pilot and refine a decision aid (ahead of a randomised trial evaluation) for women around age 50 facing their initial decision about whether to undergo mammography screening. Design: Two-stage ...Article
The effect of information about overdetection of breast cancer on women's decision-making about mammography screening: Study protocol for a randomised controlled trial Published 2014-05-15Introduction: Women are largely unaware that mammography screening can cause overdetection of inconsequential disease, leading to overdiagnosis and overtreatment of breast cancer. Evidence is lacking about how information ...Article