Author(s): Vogel BA, Bengel J, Helmes AW
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: This study explored breast cancer patients' preferences and experiences in receiving information and decision making in the course of the first 6 months of cancer treatment. METHODS: Participants were 135 German breast cancer patients, recruited within a week of either surgery or the beginning of neo-adjuvant chemotherapy. Women were asked to complete a self-explanatory questionnaire at baseline and 3 and 6 months later. RESULTS: There was a significant decrease in the importance of specific information needs. The quality of received information through the physician was rated significantly better at baseline than 6 months later. Nearly half of all patients changed their decision making preference at least at one assessment point. Shared decision making rarely took place in the first 6 months of treatment. CONCLUSION: Breast cancer patients' information needs and decision making preferences can change during treatment. Future research should analyse which patients change their decision making preference under which circumstances. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Physicians need to investigate the decision making preferences and information needs of their patients in the course of treatment. Patient oriented communication skills might be helpful to meet patients' preferences and needs.
This article was published in Patient Educ Couns
and referenced in Journal of Nursing & Care