Acceptability of Magnetic Resonance Imaging for prostate cancer diagnosis with patients and GPs: a qualitative interview study

Samuel Merriel, Stephanie Archer, Alice S. Forster, David Eldred-Evans, John McGrath, Hashim Uddin Ahmed, Willie Hamilton, Fiona M. Walter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the prostate is a more accurate, non-invasive test for prostate cancer. Aim: To understand the acceptability of prostate MRI for patients and GPs. Design and Setting – Qualitative study of men who had undergone a prostate MRI for possible prostate cancer and GPs who had referred at least one man for possible prostate cancer in the last 12 months in West London and Devon. Methods: Semi-structured interviews, conducted in person or via telephone, were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. Deductive thematic analysis was undertaken using Sekhon’s Theoretical Framework of Acceptability (TFA) retrospectively for patients and prospectively for GPs. Results: 22 men (12 from Devon, age range 47-80 years), two patient’s partners, and 10 GPs (6 female, age range 36-55 years) were interviewed. Prostate MRI was broadly acceptable for most patient participants, and they reported that it was not a significant undertaking to complete the scan. GPs were more varied in their views on prostate MRI with a broad spectrum of knowledge and understanding of prostate MRI. Some GPs expressed concerns about additional clinical responsibility and local availability of MRI if direct access to prostate MRI in primary care were to be introduced. Conclusions: Prostate MRI appears acceptable to patients. Some differences were found between patients in London and Devon, mainly around burden of testing and opportunity costs. Further exploration of GP’s knowledge and understanding of prostate MRI could inform future initiatives to widen access to diagnostic testing in primary care.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of General Practice
Early online date30 Oct 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Oct 2023


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