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Patient education and counseling

When do cancer patients regret their treatment decision? A path analysis of the influence of clinicians' communication styles and the match of decision-making styles on decision regret.


PMID 26658703

Abstract

To test the influence of physician empathy (PE), shared decision making (SDM), and the match between patients' preferred and perceived decision-making styles on patients' decision regret. Patients with breast or colon cancer (n=71) completed questionnaires immediately following (T1) and three months after a consultation (T2). Path analysis was used to examine the relationships among patient demographics, patient reports of PE, SDM, the match between preferred and perceived decision-making styles, and patient decision regret at T2. After controlling for clinician clusters, higher PE was directly associated with more SDM (β=0.43, p<0.01) and lower decision regret (β=-0.28, p<0.01). The match between patients' preferred and perceived roles was negatively associated with decision regret (β=-0.33, p<0.01). Patients who participated less than desired reported more decision regret at T2. There was no significant association between SDM and decision regret (β=0.03, p=0.74). PE and the match between patients' preferred and perceived roles in medical decision making are essential for patient-centered cancer consultations and treatment decisions. Ways to enhance PE and matching the consultation style to patients' expectations should be encouraged.

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