Impact of health information-seeking behavior and personal factors on preferred role in treatment decision making in men with newly diagnosed prostate cancer

Cancer Nurs. Nov-Dec 2012;35(6):411-8. doi: 10.1097/NCC.0b013e318236565a.


Background: Prostate cancer (PC) patients continue to have unmet information needs at the time of diagnosis and are often unable to communicate their preferences to physicians at the time of the treatment consultation.

Objective: The objective of the study was to determine the impact of health information-seeking behavior (HISB) and personal factors on patients' preferred role in treatment decision making (TDM).

Methods: Participants consisted of 150 men with newly diagnosed PC seen at 2 urology clinics in western Canada. A survey questionnaire was used to gather information on HISB, personal factors influencing treatment choice, and decision control.

Results: More than 90% of the participants reported a preference to play either an active or collaborative role in TDM and having either an "intense" or "complementary" HISB. No significant association was found between HISB and preferred role in TDM. Impact of treatment on survival and urinary function and the urologist's recommendation were identified as the 3 main factors influencing the treatment decision.

Conclusions: At the time of diagnosis, the majority of men want to be involved in TDM and have access to information. Our findings suggest that the type and amount of information men want to access are dependent on HISB. Assessing factors having an impact on TDM may prove useful to guide patient-clinician treatment discussions.

Implications for practice: This survey provides clinicians with a method to assess information and decision preferences of men with newly diagnosed PC and factors having an influence on treatment choice.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • British Columbia
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Decision Making*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Information Seeking Behavior*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Participation / methods*
  • Patient Preference / statistics & numerical data
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Psychology
  • Risk Assessment
  • Self Concept
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome