‘I just want to be able to make a choice’: Results from citizen deliberations about mammography screening in Ontario, Canada
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Despite Canada's long history with mammography screening, little is known about citizens' perspectives about mammography and how best to support women to make informed choices about screening. To address this gap, a series of four citizen deliberation events were held in 2015-16 in Ontario, a Canadian province with an organized population-based breast screening program in place since 1990. Forty-nine individuals participated in four citizen panels, each comprising an information session highlighting the evidence about mammography, and large- and small-group deliberations about approaches to support informed decision making for screening. Following their engagement with the research evidence about mammography, participants expressed concern about their lack of full awareness of the risks and benefits and a strong desire for choice when it comes to screening. To support informed choice, mammography programs need to reflect the values of information sharing, trust and transparency, financial accountability, and allow for personal interactions and shared decision-making. Citizens are looking for balanced information about the risks and benefits of screening presented in an easy to understand, comprehensive, and transparent manner. Primary health care providers and organized screening programs are important sources of information about mammography and must be vigilant in their efforts to support informed decision-making in this area by ensuring that the information materials they are using are balanced and reflect current evidence.
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