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J Cancer Educ. 1998 Summer;13(2):71-5.

Information preferences, reading ability, and emotional changes in outpatients during the process of obtaining informed consent for autologous bone-marrow transplantation.

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Division of Hematology/Oncology, University of Virginia Health Sciences Center, Charlottesville 22908, USA.



The complexity of autologous bone marrow transplantation (ABMT) imposes increased demands for disclosure of information to patients. This study describes the information preferences, reading ability, and emotional balance (affect) of adult patients at the time of outpatient informed consent.


Thirty patients were enrolled. The Derogatis Affects Balance Scale was used to determine each patient's emotional status before and after outpatient informed consent. The Information Styles Questionnaire was used to measure information preferences, and the Wide Range Achievement Test was used to measure reading ability.


Every patient had at least average reading ability. Almost 90% of the patients preferred maximum amounts of detailed information. A significant change in total affectivity was seen after informed consent (p = 0.005), and the predominant pattern of change was decreases in both positive and negative affects, with a significant improvement in the positive-affects ratio.


ABMT candidates tend to read well and prefer maximum amounts of information. The informed consent process is associated with significant change in the balance between positive and negative patient emotions, and the dominant pattern is neutralization of both the positive and the negative emotions. This neutralization is more pronounced for the negative emotions, suggesting that the informed consent process may make patients feel better overall.

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