Effects of a prostate awareness pilot on GP consultations and PSA requests
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Background. A Department of Health prostate awareness initiative, piloted in Coventry in 2006, promoted reporting of symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia, prostatitis and prostate cancer to GPs without causing sudden increases in workload. Qualitative evaluation showed a wide distribution of materials. Objectives. Evaluation of effects of the pilot on rates of GP urological consultations, prescriptions and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) requests in general practice in Coventry and three control areas. Methods. Data on GP consultations provided by the General Practice Research Database for three to five practices per area covered the periods 1 October 2005 to 31 March 2006 and 1 October 2006 to 31 March 2007. Pathology laboratory data on PSA requests covered 18 months from 1 December 2005 in consenting practices: 44/55 (80%) in Coventry and 102/159 (64%) in control areas. The rates of GP consultations for urological symptoms and of prescriptions issued for urological conditions per 100 person-years in men with no prior diagnosis of benign or malignant prostate disease and rates of PSA tests per 100 men were analysed. Results. There was no significant change in consultation rates for urological symptoms over time in Coventry. The rate of prescriptions and of PSA testing increased in Coventry before the pilot began (P < 0.001) but there was no sudden increase after the pilot launch with similar trends in the control areas. Conclusions. There was no increase in GP workload following the start of the pilot. Routine data can be used in evaluation but should be linked to surveys of awareness, health-seeking behaviour and delivery of campaign materials.
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Cancer Screening Evaluation Unit (DoH)
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FAMILY PRACTICE, 2010, 27 pp. 69 - 76
OXFORD UNIV PRESS