Shared Medical Decision Making Improves Cancer Patient Satisfaction

Kenneth L. Kehl, MD Division of Cancer Medicine, MD Anderson Cancer Center Houston, Interview with:
Kenneth L. Kehl, MD

Division of Cancer Medicine, MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, Texas

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Prior studies have demonstrated that most patients with cancer wish to participate in their treatment decisions.  We studied a cohort of patients with lung or colorectal cancer and assessed whether patient involvement in decision-making was associated with perceived quality of care or ratings of physician communication.  We found that patients who described a more shared decision-making process gave higher ratings of their care quality and physician communication.  This effect was independent of patients’ stated preferences regarding involvement in decision-making.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: Clinicians may wish to consider the possibility that encouraging patient participation in medical decision-making is associated with higher patient satisfaction with the decision-making process, even among patients who state preferences that physicians control their medical decisions.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Further research should include assessment of the impact of shared decision-making in other cancer types, and of interventions designed to promote patient involvement in medical decisions.


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