The benefits of screening for prostate cancer are uncertain. Outcomes of treatment are particularly important to couples because they challenge the most intimate aspects of a couple's relationship. This study used clinical decision analysis to explore the preferences of 10 couples for prostate cancer screening. The decision-analytic model found that 7 of 10 husbands preferred the no screening strategy, while 9 of 10 wives preferred screening for their husbands. Wives associated little burden with complications of treatment, preferring to maximize their husbands' quantity of life regardless of complications. The issue of who is the decision maker is paramount in the case of prostate cancer sreening. Optimal screening strategies may differ for husbands and wives. Guidelines for prostate cancer screening and management should consider assessing preferences on an individual couple basis.
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