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Paper in Social Science & Medicine

Heather M Davey, Jacqueline Lim, Phyllis N Butow, Alexandra L Barratt, Sally Redman. Women's preferences for and views on decision-making for diagnostic tests.
Social Science & Medicine 58 (2004) 1699-1707.


It is unclear whether the Control Preferences Scale (CPS) provides a suitable framework for eliciting women's preferences for involvement in decision-making about diagnostic tests. The aims of this study were to assess the appropriateness of the role label approach for eliciting preferences for decision-making about diagnostic tests and to elicit women's preferences for, and views about, decision-making for diagnostic tests. In-depth, face-to-face, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 37 women who had previously participated in a population-based telephone survey. Analysis of the interview transcripts revealed that qualitative questions may be a more sensitive methodology for eliciting preferences than the role label approach as exemplified by the CPS. The analysis identified a number of issues associated with decision-making for diagnostic tests, including defining what a decision is, the rationale for the preference and factors that influence the preferred role such as the perceived seriousness of the test and potential outcomes. The role label approach used to elicit preferences for involvement in decision-making may be too simplistic. It may not fully capture the complexity of women's thoughts about test decision-making, including how they define a decision and what factors affect their preference.