Background: Many models of patient-physician relationships have been described since a paternalistic model was postulated in the early 1950s. Among them are the informative model, doctor-as-agent model, shared model of care, family-centered model, and Degner and Beaton's Patterns of Decision Making.
Objectives: This article aims to examine the contemporary role of the nurse during the cancer treatment decision-making process.
Methods: This article reviews the current and evidence-based role of the nurse during cancer treatment decision making, and implications for practice and research are discussed.
Findings: Because of external forces, such as rising cost of health care, increasing healthcare consumerism, and increased emphasis on patient-centered care, the shared model of care is taking hold, particularly in the cancer setting. The evolution of these models has caused a shift in the dialogue related to cancer treatment decision making between patients and physicians, as well as oncology nurses. These events contribute to the evolving role of the nurse during the cancer treatment decision-making process.
Keywords: cancer; decision aids; patient participation; professional nursing role; shared decision making.