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Psychooncology. 2003 Jul-Aug;12(5):442-52.

Parents' decision-making preferences in pediatric oncology: the relationship to health care involvement and complementary therapy use.

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  • 1Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Yeshiva University, Bronx, NY, USA.


This study investigated how parents' preferred level of control in treatment decision-making is related to their personal health care involvement and to their decision to use complementary therapies (CTs) for their child. One hundred-eighteen parents of pediatric oncology patients completed an anonymous CT survey. The Krantz Health Opinion Survey (KHOS) was used to determine parents' preferred involvement in personal health care, and the Control Preferences Scale for Pediatrics (CPS-P) measured preferred role in pediatric treatment decision-making. Unlike previous studies of adult cancer patients, most parents preferred active or collaborative decision-making. The KHOS and CPS-P were significantly correlated, indicating that parents' preferred role in children's treatment decisions was related to their own personal health care involvement. Forty-six percent of parents used CTs for their child, and 33% began using a new CT after diagnosis. The hypothesized relationship between CT use and parents' own health care involvement was partially supported. Preference for control in decision-making was not associated with CT use. These findings provide validation for the newly developed CPS-P and indicate that parents' decisions to use CT for their child are related in part to individual health care preferences.

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