A research team from the Seeking and Scanning Behavior-Cancer Patients Project at the Annenberg Center of Excellence in Cancer Communication Research (CECCR) has published a paper in this month’s edition of Patient Education and Counseling titled “Patient-clinician information engagement increases treatment decision satisfaction among cancer patients through feeling of being informed” (Vol. 77, Issue 3). Doctoral candidate Lourdes S. Martinez was the lead author on the paper. Additional authors are J. Sanford Schwartz, MD, the Leon Hess Professor in Internal Medicine from Penn Medicine; doctoral student Derek Feres; Annenberg’s Taressa Fraze; and Robert C. Hornik, Ph.D., the Wilbur Schramm Professor of Communication and CECCR director.
Objective: Examine how patient–clinician information engagement (PCIE) may operate through feeling informed to influence patients’ treatment decision satisfaction (TDS).
Methods: Randomly drawn sample (N = 2013) from Pennsylvania Cancer Registry, comprised of breast, prostate and colon cancer patients completed mail surveys in the Fall of 2006 (response rate = 64%) and Fall of 2007. Of 2013 baseline respondents, 85% agreed to participate in follow-up survey (N = 1703). Of those who agreed, 76% (N = 1293) completed follow-up surveys. The sample was split between males and females. The majority of participants were White, over the age of 50, married, and with a high school degree. Most reported having been diagnosed with in situ and local cancer.
Results: PCIE was related to concurrent TDS (b = .06) and feeling informed (b = .15), after confounder adjustments. A mediation analysis was consistent with PCIE affecting TDS through feeling informed. Baseline PCIE predicted feeling informed (b = .04) measured 1 year later, after adjustments for baseline feeling informed and other confounders. Feeling informed was related to concurrent TDS (b = .35) after confounder adjustment and follow-up TDS (b = .13) after baseline TDS and confounder adjustment.
Conclusion: Results suggest PCIE affects TDS in part through patients’ feeling informed. Practice implications: PCIE may be important in determining patients’ level of feeling informed and TDS.