Rates of prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing for prostate cancer have been increasing in England, but it is not known to what extent this trend has continued in recent years, and how much the rates of testing for screening purposes vary by socioeconomic and ethnic factors. Factors influencing the rise in rates of testing include public awareness, GP attitudes towards use of the PSA test and their use of standardised guidelines.
This study is investigating variation in the rate of PSA testing in general practice in England. Rates of PSA testing will be studied by factors such as age and type of area of residence using data from the General Practice Research Database, which has data on about 5 million active patients from around 625 primary care practices throughout the UK.
A separate aspect of the project is studying GP knowledge and awareness of key issues concerning testing for prostate cancer by means of a questionnaire survey.
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