[Information to users on cancer screening in women: assessment of current situation and establishment of evidence-based information standards. 1. Information to users on breast cancer screening]

Queiro Verdes T, Cerda Mota T, Espana Fernandez S
Record ID 32011000505
Authors' objectives:

1. To draw up evidence-based recommendations regarding the timing, form and content of the information that should be offered to facilitate informed participation in screening; 2. to know the characteristics and quality of current written information on breast cancer screening; and, 3. to know the appraisal of the users and health professionals on the evidence-based recommendations of the written information that should provide the breast cancer screening programmes.

Authors' recommendations: All the information provided from the screening programmes must be based on the best evidence.Written information (letters, leaflets) is appropriate to transmit general information about the disease and the screening programme.Basic information needs to invite the women to attend the screening • programme could be provided by an invitation letter and an additional leaflet. A second level of information could be facilitated to users who demand more information.The leaflet is an efficient method to improve users knowledge of the screening. Not all Spanish screening programmes have a leaflet, although it is rated positive by users.Information on breast cancer screening should be disseminated to women before the starting age of participation in the programme.The invitation leaflet should provide information on breast cancer, the screening programme, the target population, the screening interval, the screening test (nature, purpose, process, validity, benefits, risks and results), further assessment, treatment options and how to get further information.Very little information about screening risks is given in screening programmes, although the information about benefits and risks is fundamental to facilitate the screening informed participation.There is a great difficulty to making risk information understandable. The use of pictograms facilitates risk understanding.Women participants in focal groups prefer to receive the results through general practitioners, especially when they must be recalled for further assessment.In recall letters it is necessary to include information to minimize emotional harms.Further quality research into the process of written communication about breast cancer programmes is called for, so as to be able to ensure women’s informed participation in screening programmes.It should be necessary to design strategies, counting with the participation of users, to develop written information material according to women expectations and needs.Although at present the women of the target population are little familiar with the new technologies, it would be necessary to enhance the design of web pages easily accessible, where to get different levels of information, according to the users needs.
Project Status: Completed
Year Published: 2007
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: Spain
MeSH Terms
  • Mass Screening
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Breast Neoplasms
Organisation Name: Scientific Advice Unit, avalia-t; The Galician Health Knowledge Agency (ACIS)
Contact Address: Conselleria de Sanidade, Xunta de Galicia, San Lazaro s/n 15781 Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Tel: 34 981 541831; Fax: 34 981 542854;
Contact Name: avalia-t@sergas.es
Contact Email: avalia-t@sergas.es
Copyright: Galician Agency for Health Technology Assessment (AVALIA-T)
This is a bibliographic record of a published health technology assessment from a member of INAHTA or other HTA producer. No evaluation of the quality of this assessment has been made for the HTA database.