Factors influencing treatment decision making and information preferences of prostate cancer patients on active surveillance

Patient Educ Couns. 2012 Jun;87(3):369-74. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2011.11.009. Epub 2011 Dec 15.


Objective: To assess information and decision making preferences of patients on active surveillance (AS), and the factors influencing their decision.

Methods: A cross-sectional sample of 180 patients on AS for <10 years completed a survey exploring the role men assumed with their physician in treatment decision making (TDM), factors influencing their decision to go on AS, and information preferences.

Results: Thirty-five percent of patients reported assuming an active role in TDM, 38% a collaborative role and 27% a passive role. Results suggest that patients<60 years prefer to play an active role in TDM whereas, men>70 years prefer to play a passive role. Available treatment options, eating a 'prostate friendly' diet, and non-traditional therapies were identified as the top three information preferences. Patients with higher levels of anxiety wanted access to more information compared to those with lower levels of anxiety. The urologists' recommendation was rated the most important factor influencing patients' decisions to go on AS.

Conclusion: The urologist's recommendation for treatment continues to have the most influence on the decision to go on AS. Our results suggest that age has an impact on the role patients wish to assume in TDM.

Practice implications: Assessments of patients' information and decision preferences, and levels of anxiety are suggested for all prostate cancer patients considering AS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Decision Making*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Patient Participation*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / therapy
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Watchful Waiting*