Published September 19, 2022 | Version v1
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Data from: Effect of information about the benefits and harms of mammography on women's decision making: the InforMa randomised controlled trial

  • 1. University of Lleida
  • 2. Rovira i Virgili University
  • 3. Institut d'Investigació Biomédica de Bellvitge
  • 4. Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute*
  • 5. SESCS*
  • 6. Autonomous University of Barcelona
  • 7. Evaluation and Qualitative Research*
  • 8. Catalan Health Institute*



In Spain, women invited to breast screening are not usually informed about potential harms of screening. The objective of the InforMa study is to assess the effect of receiving information about the benefits and harms of breast screening on informed choice and other decision making outcomes, in women approaching the age of invitation to mammography screening.


Two-stage randomised controlled trial. In the first stage, 40 elementary territorial units of the public healthcare system were selected and randomised to intervention or control. In the second stage, women aged 49-50 years were randomly obtained. The target sample size was 400 women. Women in the intervention arm received a decision aid (DA) with detailed information on the benefits and harms of screening. Women in the control arm received a standard leaflet that did not mention harms and recommended accepting the invitation to participate in the Breast Cancer Screening Program (BCSP). The primary outcome was informed choice, defined as adequate knowledge and intentions consistent with attitudes. Secondary outcomes included decisional conflict, worry about breast cancer, time perspective, opinions about the DA, and participation in the BCSP.


In the intervention group, 23.2% of 203 women made an informed choice compared to only 0.5% of 197 women in the control group (p < 0.001). Attitudes and intentions were similar in both study groups with a high frequency of women intending to be screened, 82.8% vs 82.2% (p=0.893). Decisional conflict was significantly lower in the intervention group. No differences were observed in confidence in the decision, anxiety, and participation in BCSP.


Women in Spain lack knowledge on the benefits and harms of breast screening. Providing quantitative information on benefits and harms has produced a considerable increase on knowledge and informed choice, with a high acceptance of the informative materials.


Funding provided by: Instituto de Salud Carlos III
Crossref Funder Registry ID:
Award Number: PI14/00113



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