The preferred method for communicating and sourcing information on which to make clinical decisions differed among patients. These results from a survey study were published in Blood Advances.

Patients (N=216) with hematologic malignancies undergoing treatment at 4 centers in Massachusetts, Washington, and Virginia were interviewed between 2003 and 2007. They were assessed for demographics and their preferences for decisional involvement.

Participating patients were mostly men (55.1%) who were White (92.0%).


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Participants were evenly split for preferring a balanced decision-making process with the physician and patient equally participating (37.7%) or a one-sided process in which the patient (34.0%) or physician (28.3%) were primarily responsible for making the decisions.

Patients sourced their information from their physicians (97.7%), the Internet (87.3%), print media (70.9%), or through personal associations (78.4%). The Internet was used more by patients aged younger than 60 years (91.2% vs 80.5%; P =.02) and by those with postgraduate (95.1%) or college (88.9%) degrees compared with patients who did not graduate college (80.9%; P =.03).

Most patients expressed having more than 1 preference for the method of information presentation (70.4%), in which 88% preferred success rates expressed as percentages, 59% liked patient narratives, 37% wanted presentation in words, and 30% preferred fractions. Younger patients (younger than 60 years) preferred percentages (91% vs 82%; P =.04).

This study was limited by the survey date, patient preferences may have evolved during the past decade.

These data indicated patients had specific preferences for the presentation of information. Optimizing the method of communication should be made on a patient-by-patient basis.

Disclosure: Multiple authors declared affiliation with or received research funding from pharmaceutical industry. Please refer to the original article for a full list of disclosures.

Reference

Loh KP, Tsang M, LeBlanc TW, et al. Decisional involvement and information preferences of patients with hematologic malignancies. Blood Adv. 2020;4(21):5492-5500. doi:10.1182/bloodadvances.2020003044