The desire for shared decision making among patients with solid and hematological cancer

Psychooncology. 2011 Feb;20(2):186-93. doi: 10.1002/pon.1723.


Goal: The desire for shared decision making arises especially for frequently occurring cases of solid cancer. For hematological cancer conditions, there are no analogous results. This study compares the participation patients' desires concerning medical decisions dealing with their solid and hematological tumors.

Patients and methods: The 533 inpatients with solid cancer (age<65: 61.0%; female: 39.6 %) and 177 patients with hematological cancer (inpatient: 62.1%, outpatient: 37.9%; age<65: 63.3%; female: 42.4%) were given a questionnaire after admission to a hospital or medical practice. The dependent variable was patient preference for control in decision making for eight different medical areas of decision.

Results: Descriptive results showed that patients with solid cancer had a stronger desire to participate in the decisions in six of a total of eight survey fields (p<0.01). When considering medical and socio-demographic control variables, the multivariate regression shows that the differences between the patient groups remain in all areas (p<0.01). Further predictor variables are educational background and age (p<0.05). No influence resulted from the factors of gender, medical or treatment characteristics.

Conclusion: The results show differences between patients with hematological cancer and patients with solid tumors, and these differences concern the preference to participate in medical decisions. Hemato-oncological patients desire less active participation and prefer a more dominant role of the physician in the various areas requiring decisions. Physicians should respect this in the course of the treatment.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Decision Making*
  • Female
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / psychology
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Neoplasms / psychology
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Patient Participation*
  • Patient Preference*
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires