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A survey of breast cancer physicians regarding patient involvement in breast cancer treatment decisions

Shared breast cancer treatment decision-making between patients and physicians increases patient treatment satisfaction and compliance and is influenced by physician-related factors. Attitudes and behaviors about patient involvement in breast cancer treatment decisions and treatment-related communication were assessed by specialty among breast cancer physicians of women enrolled in the Breast Cancer Quality of Care Study (BQUAL). Of 275 BQUAL physicians identified, 50.0% responded to the survey. Most physicians spend 46-60 min with the patient during the initial consult visit and 51.5% report that the treatment decision is made in one visit. Oncologists spend more time with new breast cancer patients during the initial consult (p = 0.021), and find it more difficult to handle their own feelings than breast surgeons (p = <0.001). Breast surgeons and oncologists share similar attitudes and behaviors related to patient involvement in treatment decision-making, yet oncologists report more difficulty managing their own feelings during the decision-making process.

Authors: Hillyer GC; Hershman DL; Kushi LH; Lamerato L; Ambrosone CB; Bovbjerg DH; Mandelblatt JS; Rana S; Neugut AI

Breast. 2013 Aug;22(4):548-54. Epub 2012-10-27.

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