Funded by NIH: National Cancer Institute
Funding Years: 2008-2014
Prostate cancer is a leading cause of cancer death among men, and thousands of men must make treatment decisions every year. Decision making for localized prostate cancer is especially challenging as clinical trials have shown that the standard treatment options of active surveillance, surgery and radiation are comparable in terms of survival. Thus, treatment for prostate cancer is a preference-sensitive decision, with the best choice depending in part on patient attitudes towards the risks and benefits of treatment alternatives. Therefore, ideally the treatment decision will be made with full consideration of patient preferences. As such, it is recommended that patients and their physicians discuss any preferences patients have that might be relevant to the treatment decision. This dialogue is complicated by patients’ lack of experience with sharing in these types of decisions. Additionally, physicians often use medical jargon, making it more difficult for patients to understand their diagnosis and treatment options. Research is needed to determine the best methods for helping patients communicate their preferences to their physicians so that patient values hold considerable weight in treatment decisions.
The goals of this study are two-fold:
- To demonstrate to patients some of the issues that might arise during their diagnosis visit that may prevent them from communicating preferences to physicians.
- To provide solutions that would enable greater patient participation in medical decision making.
PI(s): Angela Fagerlin, PhD and Peter A. Ubel, MD
Co-I(s): John T. Wei, MD; Brian Zikmund-Fisher, PhD; Margaret Holmes-Rovner, PhD; James Tulsky, MD; Stewart Alexander, PhD
Parent grant: Michigan Center for Health Communication Research II