PSA-basierte Früherkennung des Prostatakarzinoms durch den Hausarzt
OBJECTIVES The aim of this cross-sectional study was to evaluate the value of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing as a tool for early detection of prostate cancer (PCa) applied by general practitioners (GPs) and internal specialists (ISs) as well as to assess criteria leading to the application of PSA-based early PCa detection. METHODS Between May and December 2012, a questionnaire containing 16 items was sent to 600 GPs and ISs in the federal state Brandenburg and in Berlin (Germany). The independent influence of several criteria on the decision of GPs and ISs to apply PSA-based early PCa detection was assessed by multivariate logistic regression analysis (MLRA). RESULTS 392 evaluable questionnaires were collected (return rate 65%). 81% of the physicians declared that they apply PSA testing for early PCa detection; of these, 58 and 15% would screen patients until the age of 80 and 90 years, respectively. In case of a pathological PSA level, 77% would immediately refer the patient to a urologist, while 13% would re-assess elevated PSA levels after 3-12 months. Based on MLRA, the following criteria were independently associated with a positive attitude towards PSA-based early PCa detection: specialisation (application of early detection more frequent for GPs and hospital-based ISs) (OR 3.12; p < 0.001), physicians who use exclusively GP or IS education (OR 3.95; p = 0.002), and physicians who recommend yearly PSA assessment after the age of 50 (OR 6.85; p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS GPs and ISs frequently apply PSA-based early PCa detection. In doing so, 13% would initiate specific referral to a urologist in case of pathological PSA values too late. Improvement of this situation could possibly result from specific educational activities for non-urological physicians active in fields of urological core capabilities, which should be guided by joint boards of the national associations of urology and general medicine.