Are patients getting the "gist" in risk communication? Patient understanding of prognosis in breast cancer treatment

J Cancer Educ. 2009;24(3):194-9. doi: 10.1080/08858190902876452.


Background: Many oncologists consult the Adjuvant! prognostic model to communicate risk with breast cancer patients; however, little is known about how effective that communication is.

Methods: The authors analyzed this small data set featuring 20 breast cancer patients' risk estimates, focusing on rankings or gist of the estimates.

Results: Overall, there was no gain in the accuracy of patient rankings. The number of patients with more accurate estimates was matched by the number of patients with less accurate estimates after consultation.

Conclusions: The current methods used by oncologists to present Adjuvant! risks were not effective in helping patients to get the gist of their risks.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Communication*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome