Promoting Informed Decision Making for Cancer Screening
Informed decision making (IDM) interventions help educate clients about cancer screening and make decisions with respect to their preferences. The aims of IDM interventions are to increase client participation in decision making at a level desired by the client and to promote decisions consistent with client values. These interventions can be delivered in many ways, such as group education or the mass media, and can include the use of decision aids. IDM is not the same as the “shared decision making” between doctors and clients that takes place in clinical settings, but one supports the other. For more on shared decision making, see the report from a working group of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. [PDF - 259 kB]
Summary of Task Force Recommendations and Findings
- Individuals in healthcare settings (based on mixed results and small effect sizes)
- Community members outside of healthcare settings (based on a small number of studies)
- Interventions targeted to healthcare systems and providers (based on a small number of studies)
Results from the Systematic Review
Eleven studies qualified for the systematic review.
There was generally consistent evidence that IDM interventions improve:
- Accuracy of beliefs
- Risk perceptions
- A combination of these
However, there was little or no evidence about whether these interventions:
- Result in individuals participating in decision making at a level they desire
- Result in decisions that are consistent with individual values and preferences
- Affect screening rates, especially among high-risk populations (e.g., older, non-white, low-income)
These results were based on a systematic review of all available studies, conducted on behalf of the Task Force by a team of specialists in systematic review methods, and in research, practice and policy related to cancer prevention.
An economic review of this intervention was not conducted because the Task Force found insufficient evidence to determine its effectiveness.
Briss PA, Rimer BK, Reilley B, et al. Promoting informed decisions about cancer screening in communities and healthcare systems: a conceptual background and systematic review from the Task Force on Community Preventive Services. [PDF - 290 kB] Am J Prev Med 2004;26(1):67-80.
Read other Community Guide publications about Cancer Prevention and Control in our library.
The findings and conclusions on this page are those of the Community Preventive Services Task Force and do not necessarily represent those of CDC. Task Force evidence-based recommendations are not mandates for compliance or spending. Instead, they provide information and options for decision makers and stakeholders to consider when determining which programs, services, and policies best meet the needs, preferences, available resources, and constraints of their constituents.
The content of publications of the Guide to Community Preventive Services is in the public domain. Citation as to source, however, is appreciated. Sample citation: Guide to Community Preventive Services. Promoting informed decision making for cancer screening. www.thecommunityguide.org/cancer/idm/idm.html. Last updated: MM/DD/YYYY.
Review completed: February 2002
- Page last reviewed: January 3, 2014
- Page last updated: January 3, 2014
- Content source: The Guide to Community Preventive Services