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Support Care Cancer. 2012 Sep;20(9):2167-76. doi: 10.1007/s00520-011-1328-0. Epub 2011 Nov 13.

Do patients' information needs decrease over the course of radiotherapy?

Author information

  • 1Department of Medical Psychology, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. K.F.Douma@amc.uva.nl

Abstract

PURPOSE:

We aimed to investigate if cancer patients' information needs decrease during radiotherapy and if so, which patient, consultation and radiation oncologist characteristics are associated with a decrease in information needs over time.

METHODS:

In this longitudinal study, patients (n = 104) completed a baseline questionnaire a week before the initial radiotherapy consultation, immediately following this initial consultation, and 1 week prior to the first follow-up visit, which took place on average 3-5 weeks after the initial visit. Besides information needs, measured by the Information Preference for Radiotherapy Patients scale, the questionnaire assessed patient, consultation and radiation oncologist characteristics.

RESULTS:

Information needs decreased over time, but remained at a high level. Being religious, being male, having low health literacy and higher perceived involvement during the consultation were all statistically significantly associated to a decrease in information needs on specific domains (e.g. procedures or side effects).

CONCLUSIONS:

Cancer patients' information needs decline between the initial consultation and the first follow-up visit, but remain high. It is therefore advised to investigate the patients' information needs at every radiotherapy visit and not rely on giving information just once. Furthermore, radiation oncologists should check if the information given at first consultation is understood and remembered. By those means, tailored information giving becomes possible.

PMID:
22081119
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3411284
Free PMC Article
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