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Ann Intern Med. 2010 Nov 16;153(10):661-5. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-153-10-201011160-00010.

Patient-centered discussions about prostate cancer screening: a real-world approach.

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  • 1University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington 98105, USA.


National guidelines recommend that primary care providers discuss the risks and benefits of prostate cancer screening with their patients but give little guidance on how to fit such a complex discussion into a busy clinic encounter. The authors propose a process-oriented approach (Ask-Tell-Ask) that promotes tailored conversations and value-based recommendations. The Ask-Tell-Ask approach includes diagnosing a patient's informational needs, providing targeted education based on those needs, and making a shared decision about testing. This time-efficient model emphasizes the provider's role as an interactive guide rather than a one-way supplier of information. Although there is no way to make these discussions simple, this streamlined strategy can help patients and providers efficiently negotiate the complex and important decision of screening for prostate cancer.

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