Increasing patient involvement in choosing treatment for early breast cancer Academic Article uri icon


  • Background. This investigation examined factors affecting patient involvement in consultations to decide local treatment for early breast cancer and the effectiveness of two methods of preconsultation education aimed at increasing patient participation in these discussions. Methods. Sixty patients with Stage I or II breast cancer (1) were pretested on their knowledge about breast cancer treatment and optimism for the future, (2) were randomly assigned to one of two methods for preconsultation education: interactive multimedia program or brochure, (3) completed knowledge and optimism measures, (4) consulted with a medical oncologist, radiation oncologist, and general surgeon, and (5) completed selfreport measures assessing their involvement in the consultations and control over decisionmaking. The consultations were audiorecorded and analyzed to identify behavioral indicators of patient involvement (questionasking, opiniongiving, and expressing concern) and physician utterances encouraging patient participation. Results. Collegeeducated patients younger than 65 years of age were more active participants in these consultations than were older, less educated patients. In addition, patients showed more involvement when they interacted with physicians who encouraged and facilitated patient participation. The method of education did not affect patient involvement although patients tended to learn more about breast cancer treatment after using the multimedia program than after reading the brochure. Conclusions. Although patients vary in their expressiveness, physicians may be able to increase patient participation in deciding treatment by using patientcentered behavior. Also, preconsultation education appears to be an effective clinical strategy for helping patients gain an accurate understanding of their treatment options before meeting with physicians. Cancer 1995;76:227585. Copyright 1995 American Cancer Society

published proceedings

  • Cancer

author list (cited authors)

  • Street, R. L., Voigt, B., Geyer, C., Manning, T., & Swanson, G. P.

citation count

  • 251

complete list of authors

  • Street, RL||Voigt, B||Geyer, C||Manning, T||Swanson, GP

publication date

  • January 1995

published in