Background:In societies where physician and patient's family plays an important role in decision making and is often informed of the diagnosis before the patient, the degree of patient involvement in decision making regarding is largely controlled by family members. The study intended to explore whether and to what extent patients want to participate in treatment decision making if provided with complete diagnostic and treatment information and clearly defined goals.
Aim: The aim of this study was to determine the preferences for involvement in treatment decision making among patients with cancer.
Methods: Information about patients’ views regarding involvement in treatment decision making was collected using a questionnaire from a heterogeneous sample of 232 individuals visiting Multan Institute of Niuclear Medicine and Radiotherapy and Nishtar Medical College Hospital, Multan.
Results: Majority of the patients interviewed were likely to let the physician make decisions regarding their disease management. The overall proportion of patients preferring active, collaborative and passive roles were 35.4%, 2.6% and 62% respectively. Majority of the patients thought that cancer patients should be involved in decisions regarding their treatment, although paradoxically 75% were of the view that all the cancer patients do not have the ability to get involved in deciding about their treatment. Half of the patients (50.4%) opined that if a patient does not want to be involved in deciding about treatment, the physicians should nevertheless try to involve him in deciding about his treatment.
Conclusions: The results of the study suggest that oncologists should individually assess each patient to determine the type of role they prefer in making decisions about their treatment.