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Support Care Cancer. 2012 Dec;20(12):3335-41. doi: 10.1007/s00520-012-1477-9. Epub 2012 May 11.

Cancer patients' willingness to answer survey questions about life expectancy.

Author information

  • 1Priority Research Centre for Health Behaviour, School of Medicine and Public Health, Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales 2308, Australia. Lisa.Mackenzie@uon.edu.au

Abstract

PURPOSE:

This study aimed to determine the proportion and characteristics of radiation oncology outpatients who were willing to answer questions about their life expectancy.

METHODS:

A cross-sectional patient self-report survey was conducted using touch screen computers in Australian radiation oncology treatment centers. The primary outcome was the respondent's willingness to complete a survey subsection about life expectancy. Demographic and disease characteristics were also collected, and level of anxiety and depression was assessed using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale.

RESULTS:

Of the 469 oncology outpatients who completed the survey, 327 (70 %; 95 % CI, 65 %, 74 %) indicated that they were willing to answer questions about life expectancy. Being female (p < 0.001), older (p < 0.05), born in Asia (p < 0.05), and being diagnosed with cancer types other than breast and prostate cancer (p < 0.01) were associated with lower odds of answering life expectancy questions.

CONCLUSIONS:

The opportunity to opt-out of survey questions about sensitive issues such as life expectancy is a feasible method for accessing important information about patient preferences while minimizing burden. Further research may be needed to improve acceptability of life expectancy research to some patient groups.

PMID:
22576980
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3480580
Free PMC Article
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