Factors that influence whether patients with cancer involve families in decision-making identified

the ONA take:

According to a new study published in the journal Cancer, researchers from Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, have identified certain factors that influence whether patients with cancer involve their family members in treatment decisions.

For the study, researchers surveyed 5,284 patients with newly diagnosed colon or lung cancer, and asked them how they involved their family members in treatment decisions.

Results showed that only 1.5% of participants reported family-controlled decisions, while 49.4% reported equally sharing decisions with family members, 22.1% report some input from family members, and 28.5% reported little to no input from family members.

The researchers also found that non-English speaking Asian patients and Spanish-speaking Hispanic patients were more likely to equally share decisions with their family members compared with other patients.

Patients who were female, insured, married, and older were also more often to equally share decisions with their family members versus other patients, while veterans were least likely to involve family members in treatment decisions.

The authors hope that the findings will help physicians to better assess their patients' preferences for involving their families in treatment decisions.

Study recommends more open discussions when referring patients for symptoms suspicious of cancer
Certain factors influence whether patients with cancer involve their family members in treatment decisions.
A new study published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, provides some insights and may help physicians understand patients' preferences regarding their care.
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