Hoffman Receives CDC Funding to Study Decision-Making

Photo: Richard HoffmanDr. Richard Hoffman is one of two researchers at the University of Iowa to receive a Special Interests Project (SIP) grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. SIP grants are funded through the CDC’s Prevention Research Center. Over the course of two years, Dr. Hoffman will examine how men diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer make decisions about treatment. An increase in diagnoses has increased the number of men facing a choice between monitoring and the complication risks of more biopsies or a more aggressive approach with potential harm from unnecessary treatment.

“Patients’ decisions about treating prostate cancer often are not well informed, made with undue haste, and can be inconsistent with personal values,” Dr. Hoffman says. Many, about 20 percent, who choose active surveillance often switch to more aggressive and unneeded treatments. Researchers will conduct formative research to identify patients, providers, and the factors leading to decisions to choose active surveillance. The goal in part is to develop a way to predict this choice among men with low-risk prostate cancer diagnoses. Ultimately this instrument could lead to reducing the burden of prostate cancer treatment. The College of Public Health has more information about Dr. Hoffman’s work and the other SIP grant here.