skip to page content
Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

Health Services Research & Development

Go to the ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Low-Value Prostate Cancer Screening Among Older Men Within the Veterans Health Administration.

Radomski TR, Huang Y, Park SY, Sileanu FE, Thorpe CT, Thorpe JM, Fine MJ, Gellad WF. Low-Value Prostate Cancer Screening Among Older Men Within the Veterans Health Administration. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 2019 Sep 1; 67(9):1922-1927.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening can be of low value in older adults. Our objective was to quantify the prevalence and variation of low-value PSA screening across the Veterans Health Administration (VA), which has instituted programs to reduce low-value care. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort. SETTING: VA administrative data, 2014 to 2015. PARTICIPANTS: National random sample (N = 214 480) of male veterans, aged 75?years or older. MEASUREMENTS: We defined PSA screening in men aged 75 years or older without a history of prostate cancer as low value, per established definitions in Medicare. We calculated screening rates overall and by VA Medical Center (VAMC), adjusting for patient and VAMC-level factors. We characterized variation across VAMCs using the adjusted median odds ratio (OR) and compared the adjusted OR of screening between VAMCs in different deciles of low-value screening rates. In separate sensitivity analyses, we assessed screening in veterans at greatest risk of 1-year mortality and among veterans after excluding those who underwent prostatectomy, had a prior PSA elevation, or had a clinical indication for testing. RESULTS: Overall, 37 867 (17.7%) of veterans underwent low-value PSA screening (VAMC range = 3.3%-38.2%). The adjusted median OR was 1.88, meaning the median odds of screening would increase by 88% were a veteran to transfer his care to a VAMC with higher screening rates. Veterans at VAMCs in the top decile had an adjusted OR of 12.9 (95% confidence interval = 11.0-15.2) compared to those veterans in the lowest decile. Among veterans with the greatest mortality risk (n = 23 377), 3496 (15.0%) underwent screening (VAMC range = 1.7%-46.3%). After excluding veterans with a prior prostatectomy, PSA elevation, or a potential clinical indication, 31 556 (14.7%) underwent screening (VAMC range = 2.0%-49.9%). CONCLUSIONS: In a national cohort of older veterans, more than one in six received low-value PSA screening, with greater than 10-fold variation across VAMCs and high rates of screening among those with the greatest mortality risk. J Am Geriatr Soc 67:1922-1927, 2019.

Questions about the HSR&D website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.