Purpose/objectives: To determine whether a relationship exists between preferences for involvement in decision making and type of information in patients with cancer.
Design: Survey, correlational.
Setting: Community urology clinic in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
Sample: Convenience sample of 57 men (mean age of 71 years).
Methods: Subjects completed a card sort to elicit their preferred role in treatment decision making. A two-part questionnaire measured the type and amount of information preferred.
Findings: The majority (57.9%) of men preferred a passive decision-making role. Information on disease advancement, likelihood of cure, and types of treatment available were the three preferred categories of information. Men in the collaborative group and those who wanted their physician to make treatment decisions-only after seriously considering their opinions-also wanted significantly more information in these three categories. Married men ranked self-care information as significantly less important than did single men. Information preferences were similar regardless of preferred decision-making role.
Conclusions: Although the majority of men in this sample wanted their physician to make final treatment decisions, they did want to be informed. Information preferences were similar to other groups of patients with cancer. Future clinical studies are required to determine if providing these men with more information will enable them to assume a more active decision-making role.
Implications for nursing practice: Given the small variance in decision-making and information preferences accounted for by sociodemographic and treatment/disease-related factors, individual assessment of these preferences remains the best clinical approach.