Objectives: To design and administer an attitude rating scale, exploring colorectal cancer patients' views of involvement in decision making. To examine the impact of socio-demographic and/or treatment-related factors on decision making. To conduct principal components analysis to determine if the scale could be simplified into a number of factors for future clinical utility.
Methods: An attitude rating scale was constructed based on previous qualitative work and administered to colorectal cancer patients using a cross-sectional survey approach.
Results: 375 questionnaires were returned (81.7% response). For patients it was important to be informed and involved in the decision-making process. Information was not always used to make decisions as patients placed their trust in medical expertise. Women had more positive opinions on decision making and were more likely to want to make decisions. Written information was understood to a greater degree than verbal information. The scale could be simplified to a number of factors, indicating clinical utility.
Conclusion: Few studies have explored the attitudes of colorectal cancer patients towards involvement in decision making. This study presents new insights into how patients view the concept of participation; important when considering current policy imperatives in the UK of involving service users in all aspects of care and treatment.