Objectives Patient-centred approaches are considered vital to reduce overtesting. These approaches rely on patients to take the initiative to question the benefits and harms when offered diagnostic tests and screening. Yet we do not know about the extent to which lay people believe it is their role to avoid testing risks, and how able, willing, and comfortable are they to take on this role. Our study examined these unknowns.
Method We collected data using a mixed-data survey of Australian adults. It comprised fixed-response questions to canvas patterns in attitudes, and free text follow-up questions to gather rich explanatory data. Free text data are being analysed thematically, and value-adding post-hoc analyses may be used to uncover additional layers of meaning. Fixed-response data are being used to dissect and contextualise the qualitative results.
Results We gathered responses from 774 Australians, comprising over 92,000 words of text across five questions. Analysis is ongoing, but it will be completed in time to be premiered at the Preventing Overdiagnosis 2023 Conference.
Conclusions Our findings will be used to understand the viability and likely usefulness of patient-centred tools to reduce overtesting. They will also be valuable in shaping the potential design of these tools, by revealing the needs and preferences of lay people in engaging in shared decision-making regarding testing risks. Finally, our findings will reveal broader insights about the challenges that patients face in shared decision-making about testing risks.
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