Protocol: A multi-modal, physician-centered intervention to improve guideline-concordant prostate cancer imaging

Danil V. Makarov, Shannon Ciprut, Matthew Kelly, Dawn Walter, Michele G. Shedlin, Ronald Scott Braithwaite, Craig T. Tenner, Heather T. Gold, Steven Zeliadt, Scott E. Sherman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Almost half of Veterans with localized prostate cancer receive inappropriate, wasteful staging imaging. Our team has explored the barriers and facilitators of guideline-concordant prostate cancer imaging and found that (1) patients with newly diagnosed prostate cancer have little concern for radiographic staging but rather focus on treatment and (2) physicians trust imaging guidelines but are apt to follow their own intuition, fear medico-legal consequences, and succumb to influence from imaging-avid colleagues. We used a theory-based approach to design a multi-level intervention strategy to promote guideline-concordant imaging to stage incident prostate cancer. Methods: We designed the Prostate Cancer Imaging Stewardship (PCIS) intervention: a multi-site, stepped wedge, cluster-randomized trial to determine the effect of a physician-focused behavioral intervention on Veterans Health Administration (VHA) prostate cancer imaging use. The multi-level intervention, developed according to the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF) and Behavior Change Wheel, combines traditional physician behavior change methods with novel methods of communication and data collection. The intervention consists of three components: (1) a system of audit and feedback to clinicians informing individual clinicians and their sites about how their behavior compares to their peers’ and to published guidelines, (2) a program of academic detailing with the goal to educate providers about prostate cancer imaging, and (3) a CPRS Clinical Order Check for potentially guideline-discordant imaging orders. The intervention will be introduced to 10 participating geographically distributed study sites. Discussion: This study is a significant contribution to implementation science, providing VHA an opportunity to ensure delivery of high-quality care at the lowest cost using a theory-based approach. The study is ongoing. Preliminary data collection and recruitment have started; analysis has yet to be performed. Trial registration: NCT03445559.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number711
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Guidelines
  • Implementation
  • Prostate cancer
  • Staging imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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