This study examined the differences of opinion between cancer patients and caregivers with regard to treatment and care decisions. 184 advanced lung cancer patients and 171 primary caregivers were recruited as a convenience sample from hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio. A telephone interview was conducted to collect data using a semi-structured questionnaire. Nonparametric tests and regression analysis were performed. The findings showed that patients and caregivers reported significant disagreement on three main issues: trade-off between treatment side effects and benefits; reporting treatment side effects to physicians, and hospice care. Caregivers were more concerned about patient's quality of life and more willing to discuss hospice issues than were patients (p < or = 01). Perceived family disagreement is associated with depression in both patients and caregivers (p < or = 01; R(2)=8%). The study provided empirical evidence for patient-caregiver disagreement about treatment and care decisions and its significant adverse impact on both patients and caregivers.
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