Patient preferences for cancer screening in chronic kidney disease: a best-worst scaling survey

Laura J. James, Germaine Wong, Allison Tong, Jonathan C. Craig, Kirsten Howard, Martin Howell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Despite an increased cancer risk for patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), uptake of cancer screening varies due to competing priorities and complex health-related issues. This study aimed to elicit the preferences and important attributes of cancer screening in patients with CKD. METHODS: An on-line best-worst scaling survey was used to ascertain the relative importance of 22 screening attributes among CKD patients using an incomplete block design. Preference scores (0-1) were calculated by multinomial logistic regression. Preference heterogeneity was evaluated. RESULTS: The survey was completed by 83 patients: 26 not requiring kidney replacement therapy, 20 receiving dialysis and 37 transplant recipients (mean age 59 years, 53% men, 75% prior to cancer screening). The five most important attributes were early detection {preference score 1.0 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.90-1.10]}, decreased risk of cancer death [0.85 (0.75-0.94)], false negatives [0.71 (0.61-0.80)], reduction in immunosuppression if detected [0.68 (0.59-0.78)] and non-invasive interventions after positive results [0.68 (0.59-0.78)]. Preference heterogeneity reflected the stage of CKD. Immunosuppression reduction [mean difference 0.11 (95% CI 0.02-0.19)] and views of family/friends [0.10 (reference attribute)] were important for transplant recipients. Screening frequency [-0.18 (95% CI -0.26 to -0.10)] and overdiagnosis of harmless cancers [-0.14 (95% CI -0.22 to -0.10)] were important for dialysis patients. CONCLUSION: Early detection, risk of cancer-related death, false negatives, immunosuppression reduction and non-invasive interventions following detection are important cancer screening considerations among CKD patients. Patient preferences are key to shared decision-making and individualized cancer screening.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2449-2456
Number of pages8
JournalNephrology, dialysis, transplantation : official publication of the European Dialysis and Transplant Association - European Renal Association
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2022


  • cancer screening
  • decision-making
  • kidney disease
  • patient preferences
  • shared decision-making


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