Information Needs and Decision-making Preferences of Cancer Patients

Background: Informing cancer patients about their disease and treatment options has been extensively studied, in recent decades. Also, healthcare professionals are being increasingly encouraged to adopt a more collaborative approach with patients in decision-making procedures regarding treatment, which requires their previously detailed information on their health status. Aim: The aim of this study was to identify cancer patients’ information needs and their decision-making preferences regarding treatment. Material and Method: An electronic research was conducted in PubMed, Google Scholar, Cinahl and Scopus databases, for articles published from 1985 to date. Key words "decision-making", "cancer", "information", "treatment", "patient preferences", "information needs" were used. Results: From literature review, it was found that, although, cancer patients want to be well informed about their diagnosis, it’s prognosis and treatment choices, they hesitate to play a fully active role in decision-making procedures, leaving their physician the responsibility for that. In addition, many studies have shown that when patients' wishes, regarding their information needs and preferred role in decision-making, are fulfilled, their relationship with the healthcare team improves, their anxiety about their condition reduces and their compliance with treatment reinforces. Also, demographic factors such as female gender, younger age and high educational attainment were found to be significantly associated with increased information needs and the desire for a more active role in decision-making procedure regarding treatment. Conclusions: The information needs of cancer patients and their role preferences in decision-making are individualized and differentiate according to demographic and cultural factors. The essential communication between health professionals and patients determines to a significant degree the satisfaction of patients’ information needs and the degree of their actual participation in decision-making regarding treatment.

Category: Volume 56, N 3
Hits: 61 Hits
Created Date: 15-09-2017
Authors: Despoina Alamanou , Elisabeth Patiraki , Hero Brokalaki