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Psychol Health Med. 2017 Apr;22(4):434-448. doi: 10.1080/13548506.2016.1220598. Epub 2016 Aug 16.

Decision-making in rectal and colorectal cancer: systematic review and qualitative analysis of surgeons' preferences.

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a Laboratoire INSERM U1219 , Université de Bordeaux, C.H.U. de Bordeaux , Bordeaux , France.
b Laboratoire INSERM U1219 , Université de Bordeaux , Bordeaux , France.
c Service de chirurgie digestive , C.H.U. de Bordeaux , Bordeaux , France.


Surgeons are experiencing difficulties implementing recommendations not only owing to incomplete, confusing or conflicting information but also to the increasing involvement of patients in decisions relating to their health. This study sought to establish which common factors including heuristic factors guide surgeons' decision-making in colon and rectal cancers. We conducted a systematic literature review of surgeons' decision-making factors related to colon and rectal cancer treatment. Eleven of 349 identified publications were eligible for data analyses. Using the IRaMuTeQ (Interface of R for the Multidimensional Analyses of Texts and Questionnaire), we carried out a qualitative analysis of the significant factors collected in the studies reviewed. Several validation procedures were applied to control the robustness of the findings. Five categories of factors (i.e. patient, surgeon, treatment, tumor and organizational cues) were found to influence surgeons' decision-making. Specifically, all decision criteria including biomedical (e.g. tumor information) and heuristic (e.g. surgeons' dispositional factors) criteria converged towards the factor 'age of patient' in the similarity analysis. In the light of the results, we propose an explanatory model showing the impact of heuristic criteria on medical issues (i.e. diagnosis, prognosis, treatment features, etc.) and thus on decision-making. Finally, the psychosocial complexity involved in decision-making is discussed and a medico-psycho-social grid for use in multidisciplinary meetings is proposed.


Decision-making factors; implementation of guidelines; psychosocial complexity; qualitative review

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