Men with prostate cancer: The influence of psychological factors on information needs and decision-making

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Journal of Psychosomatic Research





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Objectives: Studies indicate that men with prostate cancer (MPC) adopt passive roles in cancer management; however, increasing public awareness of prostate cancer and advocacy by MPC and their allies suggest otherwise. This study looks at the information that is important to MPC; their preferred participation in decision making; and the influence of sociodemographic, disease, and psychological factors on information needs and decision preferences.

Method: Consecutive men diagnosed with prostate cancer and attending two tertiary care cancer clinics completed questionnaires on information needs and decision preferences. Questions included demographic information, health and disease status, psychosocial functioning, optimism, and decisional preferences and information preferences for content, type, focus, format, and amount.

Results: Questionnaires were completed by 101 MPC. Their mean age was 70 years and most were married and well-educated. Over 70% wanted detailed information at all illness stages focusing on their disease, treatment, survival, self-care, and empowerment. Over 60% of MPC wanted shared decision making with their physician. Psychological variables were found to influence information needs but not involvement in decision making.

Conclusion: These results represent a challenge to health-care providers for accomodating the informational needs and decision preferences of individual MPC.


Decision making; Medical care--Decision making; Patient education--Psychological aspects; Physician and patient; Prostate--Cancer--Patients


Community-Based Research | Counseling Psychology | Health Psychology | Medicine and Health | Psychiatry and Psychology | Psychology




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Felicia Wong, Donna E Stewart, Janet Dancey, Marta Meana, Mary Pat McAndrews, Terry Bunston, Angela M Cheung, Men with prostate cancer: influence of psychological factors on informational needs and decision making, Journal of Psychosomatic Research, Volume 49, Issue 1, July 2000, Pages 13-19, ISSN 0022-3999, 10.1016/S0022-3999(99)00109-9.

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