The aims of the present study were to describe the preferred and the actual participating roles in treatment decision-making in relation to patients with newly diagnosed, colorectal cancer and to relate this result to the sociodemographic data, the Sense of Coherence Scale (SOC) and the patients' meaning of the disease. Eighty-six patients were studied. The following instruments were used: the Control Preferences Scale (CPS); the eight Lipowski categories of the meaning of the disease (LCMD); and the SOC. The results showed that 62% of the patients preferred a collaborative role and 28% a passive role in treatment decision-making. Agreement between the preferred and the actual participating roles was achieved by 44% of the patients. Seventy-one per cent of the patients showed an optimistic understanding of their disease. The mean SOC score was 150. There was no statistically significant difference between the CPS groups as regarded the sociodemographic data, the SOC and the LCMD.
Conclusion: Sociodemographic data, the perceived meaning of the disease as well as the patients' sense of coherence were not related to the decision-making preferences in the investigated group of patients. Therefore, further investigations are needed to get an understanding of influencing factors of the decision-making preferences.