Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Appropriateness of Prostate Cancer Imaging among Veterans in a Delivery System without Incentives for Overutilization.

Makarov DV, Hu EY, Walter D, Braithwaite RS, Sherman S, Gold HT, Zhou XH, Gross CP, Zeliadt SB. Appropriateness of Prostate Cancer Imaging among Veterans in a Delivery System without Incentives for Overutilization. Health services research. 2016 Jun 1; 51(3):1021-51.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


OBJECTIVE: To determine the frequency of appropriate and inappropriate prostate cancer imaging in an integrated health care system. DATA SOURCES/STUDY SETTING: Veterans Health Administration Central Cancer Registry linked to VA electronic medical records and Medicare claims (2004-2008). STUDY DESIGN: We performed a retrospective cohort study of VA patients diagnosed with prostate cancer (N  =  45,084). Imaging (CT, MRI, bone scan, PET) use was assessed among patients with low-risk disease, for whom guidelines recommend against advanced imaging, and among high-risk patients for whom guidelines recommend it. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We found high rates of inappropriate imaging among men with low-risk prostate cancer (41 percent) and suboptimal rates of appropriate imaging among men with high-risk disease (70 percent). Veterans utilizing Medicare-reimbursed care had higher rates of inappropriate imaging [OR: 1.09 (1.03-1.16)] but not higher rates of appropriate imaging. Veterans treated in middle [OR: 0.51 (0.47-0.56)] and higher [OR: 0.50 (0.46-0.55)] volume medical centers were less likely to undergo inappropriate imaging without compromising appropriate imaging. CONCLUSIONS: Our results highlight the overutilization of imaging, even in an integrated health care system without financial incentives encouraging provision of health care services. Paradoxically, imaging remains underutilized among high-risk patients who could potentially benefit from it most.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.