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Shared decision making during radiation therapy improves patient satisfaction
Date:4/14/2014

PHILADELPHIAPlaying an active role in their radiation treatment decisions leaves cancer patients feeling more satisfied with their care, and may even relieve psychological distress around the experience, researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania report in the journal Cancer.

In a study of 305 patients undergoing radiation treatment, Neha Vapiwala, MD, an associate professor in the department in Radiation Oncology at Penn Medicine, and colleagues at link "Penn's...Center: Penn's Abramson Cancer Center found an association between patient satisfaction and patient-perceived control and shared decision making (SDM)the process that allows patients and providers to make health care decisions together, taking into account scientific evidence as well as the patient's values and preferences.

Patients who experienced SDM or perceived some control over their treatments were more satisfied with their care than those who did not experience SDM or perception of controla difference of almost 17 percent and 26 percent, respectively. Furthermore, increased anxiety, depression and fatigue were reported in patients who desired control over treatments but did not perceive this control.

"Most importantly, our findings emphasize the value of patient-physician relationships and communication specifically in radiation oncology, and their impact on patient experience in a way that hasn't been shown before," said Dr. Vapiwala. "No matter where cancer patients are in the treatment process, there is always an opportunity to improve patient satisfactionsomething hospitals and providers have consciously and increasingly been
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Contact: Steve Graff
stephen.graff@uphs.upenn.edu
215-349-5653
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert  

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