Personalizing choices: patients' experiences with making treatment decisions

Res Nurs Health. 1997 Jun;20(3):219-27. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1098-240x(199706)20:3<219::aid-nur5>;2-l.


Because little is known about the perceptions of patients who make health care decisions under potentially life-threatening conditions, a grounded theory approach was utilized to describe decision making from the patient's perspective. Eighteen respondents, aged 26 to 81, with diagnoses of heart disease, renal failure, or cancer were interviewed shortly after making a decision regarding treatment of their conditions and again about 1 month later. Respondents reported that their decisions to accept treatment were personalized to correspond with their views of themselves within the context of their life stories. Findings provide a basis for development of effective interaction and educational strategies for use with persons with potentially life-threatening conditions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Choice Behavior*
  • Critical Illness
  • Female
  • Heart Diseases / psychology*
  • Heart Diseases / therapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Patient Participation*
  • Patient Selection*
  • Renal Insufficiency / psychology*
  • Renal Insufficiency / therapy
  • Self Concept