Project 2: Breast screening policy

Work by Lisa Parker, supervised by Stacy Carter and Lucie Rychetnik

Lisa conducted a detailed review of social and ethical factors in breast screening, and completed an empirical study via interviews with influential experts and key stakeholders in Australia.  She questioned study participants about their views on breast screening, with a particular interest in determining how these views were formed.  She found that participants drew on a range of values, as well as evidence, when discussing and explaining their views.  They expressed a diversity of interpretations and priority levels for relevant values.  The role of values and the impact of different ways of conceptualising and prioritising them was under-recognised; this might contribute to the current difficulties in progressing through controversies around breast screening policy and practice.  Lisa recommends that policy makers explicitly acknowledge the role of values in decision making, and formally discuss a range of relevant values including different ways that they are conceptualised and prioritised. She has now published a framework to assist and guide values based discussions amongst breast screening policy and practice decision makers.


Parker LM. Including values in evidence-based policy making for breast screening: An empirically grounded tool to assist expert decision makers. Health Policy. 2017;121(7):793-9.

2016  Parker LM, Carter SM. The role of socially embedded concepts in breast cancer screening: an empirical study with experts. Public Health Ethics, Apr 19:phw012.

2016  Parker LM, Carter SM. Social and ethical considerations in breast cancer screening.  In: Houssami N, Miglioretti D, editors. Breast cancer screening: the scientific evidence. London, UK: Elsevier.

2015 Parker LM, Rychetnik L, Carter SM. The role of communication in breast cancer screening: a qualitative study with Australian expertsBMC Cancer, 15(1):741

2015  Parker LM, Rychetnik L, Carter S.  Framing overdiagnosis in breast screening: a qualitative study with Australian experts.  BMC Cancer. 2015;15(1):606.

2015  Parker L, Rychetnik, L, Carter, S. Values in breast cancer screening: an empirical study with Australian experts.  BMJ Open, 5(5):e006333.

Lisa’s thesis:

Parker, LM. 2016 An empirical ethics analysis of breast cancer screening in Australia. Thesis: The University of Sydney.

Lisa can be contacted on lisa [dot] parker [at] sydney [dot] edu [dot] au

More about Lisa here.

More about Stacy here.

More about Lucie here.