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Physicians’ perspectives on the informational needs of low-risk prostate cancer patients

Despite the evidence indicating that decision aids (DA) improve informed treatment decision making for prostate cancer (PCa), physicians do not routinely recommend DAs to their patients. We conducted semi-structured interviews with urologists (n = 11), radiation oncologists (n = 12) and primary care physicians (n = 10) about their methods of educating low-risk PCa patients regarding the treatment decision, their concerns about recommending DAs, and the essential content and format considerations that need to be addressed. Physicians stressed the need for providing comprehensive patient education before the treatment decision is made and expressed concern about the current unevaluated information available on the Internet. They made recommendations for a DA that is brief, applicable to diverse populations, and that fully discloses all treatment options (including active surveillance) and their potential side effects. Echoing previous studies showing that low-risk PCa patients are making rapid and potentially uninformed treatment decisions, these results highlight the importance of providing patient education early in the decision-making process. This need may be fulfilled by a treatment DA, should physicians systematically recommend DAs to their patients. Physicians’ recommendations for the inclusion of particular content and presentation methods will be important for designing a high quality DA that will be used in clinical practice.

Authors: Hagerman CJ; Bellini PG; Davis KM; Hoffman RM; Aaronson DS; Leigh DY; Zinar RE; Penson D; Van Den Eeden S; Taylor KL

Health Educ Res. 2017 04 01;32(2):134-152.

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