Heterogeneity in how women value risk-stratified breast screening

Jack C.W. Wheeler, Louise Keogh, Maria A. Sierra, Lisa Devereux, Katherine Jones, Maarten J. IJzerman, Alison H. Trainer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Risk-stratified screening has potential to improve the cost effectiveness of national breast cancer screening programs. This study aimed to inform a socially acceptable and equitable implementation framework by determining what influences a woman's decision to accept a personalized breast cancer risk assessment and what the relative impact of these key determinants is. Methods: Multicriteria decision analysis was used to elicit the relative weights for 8 criteria that women reported influenced their decision. Preference heterogeneity was explored through cluster analysis. Results: The 2 criteria valued most by the 347 participants related to program access, “Mode of invitation” and “Testing process”. Both criteria significantly influenced participation (P <.001). A total of 73% preferred communication by letter/online. Almost all women preferred a multidisease risk assessment with potential for a familial high-risk result. Four preference-based subgroups were identified. Membership to the largest subgroup was predicted by lower educational attainment, and women in this subgroup were concerned with program access. Higher relative perceived breast cancer risk predicted membership to the smallest subgroup that was focused on test parameters, namely “Scope of test” and “Test specificity”. Conclusion: Overall, Australian women would accept a personalized multidisease risk assessment, but when aligning with their preferences, it will necessitate a focus on program access and the development of online communication frameworks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-156
Number of pages11
JournalGenetics in Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast cancer risk
  • Person-centred care
  • Polygenic risk scores
  • Population preferences
  • Precision public health initiative
  • Risk-stratified breast screening
  • n/a OA procedure

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