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Is information provision about benefits and risks of treatment options associated with receiving person-centered care: a survey among incurably ill cancer patients.

Vliet, L.M. van, Veer, A.J.E. de, Raijmakers, N.J.H., Francke, A.L. Is information provision about benefits and risks of treatment options associated with receiving person-centered care: a survey among incurably ill cancer patients. Journal of Palliative Medicine: 2019(7), 797-803
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Background
Cancer patients with advanced disease are confronted with increasingly complex life-prolonging/symptom-relieving treatment decisions. Being informed of treatment benefits and risks is important, but information provision might be suboptimal.

Objective
To assess the extent to which patients with incurable cancer feel informed about benefits and risks of possible treatments, and whether this relates to their self-perceived receipt of person-centered care.

Methods
Patients with incurable cancer (N = 212) reported the degree to which they felt informed about treatment benefits/risks. Person-centered care was operationalized as “feeling involved in care” and “feeling that preferences were taken into account”. (Logistic) regression analyses assessed the relationship between feeling informed and receiving person-centered care, exploring moderating influences of background characteristics.

Results
Two-thirds (66%) of patients felt incompletely informed about treatment benefits/risks. Two-thirds (65%) of patients felt that they were always involved in their care, and 60% felt their preferences were taken into account by all providers. If patients felt completely informed, they also felt they received more person-centered care (p = < 0.01). Seventy six percent and 81% of completely informed versus 58% and 50% of incompletely informed patients felt that they were, respectively, always involved and that preferences were taken into account by all providers. Background characteristics did not moderate these relationships, but influenced perceptions of received information and person-centered care.

Conclusions
Complete information provision about treatment benefits and risks is, according to patients, not commonplace. Yet such information is related to receiving person-centered care. More research into what specific information is preferred, provided, and remembered is warranted, to achieve optimal person-centered care.