Involvement in decision-making and breast cancer survivor quality of life

Ann Behav Med. Summer 1999;21(3):201-9. doi: 10.1007/BF02884834.


Advances in treatment for breast cancer have improved women's chances of surviving this disease, while giving patients more treatment options than in the past. This study examined the influence of patient involvement in decision-making on survivor quality of life. A prevalence sample of breast cancer survivors were interviewed about their involvement in decision-making about their cancer treatment and follow-up care. A series of multivariate regression analyses were then conducted to examine how involvement in decision-making about cancer treatment and follow-up care contributed to survivor quality of life. Analyses revealed involvement in decision-making about the use of testing for recurrent disease (TFR) as part of follow-up care is associated with improved quality of life in several domains (p < 0.05). This association of improved quality of life with involvement in decision-making about follow-up TFR was independent of associations of quality of life with surgical treatment received, involvement in decision-making about surgical treatment, frequency of TFR, use of mammography, age, income, education, and years since diagnosis. This suggests that efforts to increase patient involvement in decision-making about follow-up care may improve quality of life for breast cancer survivors.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attitude to Health
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Breast Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Community Health Services / standards
  • Decision Making*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Quality of Life*
  • Survival Rate
  • Survivors / psychology*
  • Women's Health Services / standards