Communicating the balance sheet in breast cancer screening

L Giordano, C Cogo, J Patnick, E Paci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic

16 Citations (Scopus)


Objective Despite the difficulties, there is a moral responsibility to provide the public with the best estimates of benefits and harms of breast cancer screening. Methods In this paper we review the issues in communication of benefits and harms of medical interventions and discuss these in terms of the principles of the balance sheet proposed in this supplement. Results The balance sheet can be seen as a tool to convey estimates based on the best available evidence and addressed to a readership wider than just potential screening participants. It reflects a re-assessment of screening efficacy, showing again that screening is effective and brings more benefits than harms. It can be viewed as an opportunity to re-affirm some basic principles of good evidence-based communication. Further research is needed to improve communication strategy, to assess the i Conclusion The balance sheet could be a starting point for a broader vision of informed decision-making in screening, which should also recognize the role played by 'non-numerical' factors on women's choice of participating in breast cancer screening.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)67-71
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Medical Screening
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

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