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Psychooncology. 2005 Aug;14(8):647-60.

Preferences for different methods of communicating information regarding adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer.

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James Graham Brown Cancer Center, Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, KY 40202, USA.


Many patients play an active role in determining their cancer treatments, and the communication of medical information influences patient decision-making. This study examined participants' preferences between various methods of communicating quantitative risks and benefits of adjuvant chemotherapy. Using clinical vignettes, participants were first asked to decide whether or not to endorse chemotherapy and were subsequently asked about their preferences for the methods used to communicate the risks and benefits. Participants preferred the absolute survival benefit method over negatively framed methods, such as relative or absolute risk reduction. We also present analysis of qualitative data which supports the conclusions drawn from quantitative analyses. In summary, the absolute survival benefit was shown to be the superior method of communicating quantitative risks and benefits of chemotherapy. Failure to use clear and concise methods of communicating quantitative risk and benefit information may compromise efforts to obtain informed consent for treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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