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Patient Educ Couns. 2009 May;75(2):263-9. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2008.10.015. Epub 2009 Jan 14.

The influence of patient expectations regarding cure on treatment decisions.

Author information

1
Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan 48201, United States. gleasonm@karmanos.org

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To test whether cancer patients' expectations for cure prior to interacting with their oncologist influence their decisions to follow treatment recommendations. Further, to test whether patients' expectations for cure are affected by the strength of the oncologist-patient alliance or the extent to which companions (if present) share patients' expectations for cure.

METHODS:

Interactions of 101 patients (and 114 companions) with oncologists about treatment were coded for the strength of the oncologist-patient alliance. Prior to the interaction, patients and companions reported expectations about whether the patient would be cured of cancer. After the interaction, patients reported whether they intended to follow the recommended treatment.

RESULTS:

Patients who expected a cure were more likely to report an intention to follow oncologists' treatment recommendation when the strength of their alliance with their oncologist was weaker (B=-0.51, p<.05). Patients whose expectations for cure matched their companions' expectations were less likely to report intentions to follow treatment recommendations (B=-0.28, p<.05).

CONCLUSION:

Patients who have an expectation of being cured of cancer prior to meeting with their oncologist are more likely to intend to follow recommended treatment when their alliance with the oncologist is weaker and their companions do not believe they will be cured.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS:

To better understand patient treatment decisions and improve overall cancer care, oncologists should be aware of the complex ways that patients' expectations about cure influence treatment choices.

PMID:
19147315
PMCID:
PMC3785099
DOI:
10.1016/j.pec.2008.10.015
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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