Patients with advanced cancer prefer open, effective communication

the ONA take:

A majority of patients with advanced cancer in a Japanese population study preferred that their physicians be realistic about their future and be reassured that painful symptoms would be controlled. The study was published online ahead of print in Cancer.

Additionally, patients who had cancer at certain sites, those who were recently diagnosed, as well as those with children, believed that their physicians should effectively communicate their prospects specific to their individual needs.

Researchers led by Shino Umezawa, MS, RN, of Tokyo Medical and Dental University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences looked at 106 patients with cancer who were informed at least one week prior to cessation of their anti-cancer treatment.

Patients were asked to fill out a survey on how they preferred communication regarding the end of their anticancer treatment and transitioning to palliative care.

The researchers found upon descriptive analysis that patients strongly preferred physicians to listen to their distress and concerns (96%), to assure them that painful symptoms would be controlled (97.1%) and to explain the status of their illness and any symptoms that would likely occur in the future (95.1%).

Upon multiple regression analyses to determine the factors associated with these preferences, the researchers found that telling patients to prepare mentally and informing them of their life expectancy was associated with cancer site, sustaining hope was associated with cancer site and children, and empathic paternalism was associated with duration since cancer diagnosis.

Patients with advanced ovarian cancer benefit more from chemo before surgery
A majority of patients with advanced cancer preferred that their physicians be realistic about their future.
The objective of this study was to clarify the communication preferences of patients with advanced cancer regarding discussions about ending anticancer treatment and transitioning to palliative care and to explore the variables associated with those preferences.
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