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Israeli researchers say patient satisfaction is important to promote treatment compliance

-- Jeff Muise

Tuesday, March 2, 2010 (Last Updated: 03/03/2010)

TUESDAY, March 2 (HealthDay News) -- Cancer patients tend to be satisfied with the treatment explanations and help with problems that they get from their physicians, but less satisfied with their own participation in treatment decision-making and the explanations physicians give their families, according to a study published online Feb. 22 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Gil Goldzweig, Ph.D., of the Academic College of Tel-Aviv-Yafo in Israel, and colleagues interviewed and surveyed 1,027 cancer patients from four oncology institutes to collect information on demographics, medical variables, psychological variables (such as depression, mental adjustment and coping), expectations, and level of satisfaction.

The researchers report lower levels of patient satisfaction related to patient participation in their treatment planning (46 percent) and physician explanations to the family (46.5 percent). Higher levels of satisfaction were found in the areas of explanation to the patient about the planned treatment (59.5 percent), and the ability to go to the physician with problems (59 percent). Using a strict standard for total satisfaction, the researchers found only 16.2 percent of patients were highly satisfied, and 71 percent were less satisfied. Overall, the less satisfied patients displayed higher levels of psychological distress, anxiety, helplessness, and less will to fight.

"Given the importance of patient satisfaction to treatment compliance, oncologists should consider evaluating patient expectations for support, especially in issues concerning planning the treatment and involving the family in medical decisions. Oncologists should take into account the possible interdependence between psychological variables and medical-care satisfaction," the authors write.

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Specialties Oncology
OBGYN & Women's Health

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