Triadic agreement about advanced cancer treatment decisions: Perceptions among patients, families, and oncologists.
OBJECTIVES: When patients make cancer treatment decisions, they consider the needs and preferences of family caregivers and clinicians. We examined how much all three triad members agreed about goals of treatment and caregivers' influence on decision-making. METHODS: We surveyed 70 triads of patients, caregivers, and oncologists who had recently made an advanced cancer treatment decision. We assessed each triad member's perception of the goal of treatment and the caregiver's influence on the decision. Participants also completed scales related to decisional conflict, satisfaction, and regret. RESULTS: In only 28/70 triads (40%), all three agreed on the goal of treatment with the most common goal being to live longer (n = 22). Whereas patients and caregivers tended to think the goal was to cure or live longer, oncologists were less optimistic. In only 22 triads (31%), all three agreed on how much influence the caregiver had on decision-making. Oncologists tended to underestimate caregiver influence. Patients and caregivers had low decisional conflict (M=15.40, SD=4.51; M=17.09, SD=6.34, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: Advanced cancer treatment decision-making occurs amid incomplete understanding among patients, caregivers, and oncologists. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Confirming agreement about goals of care and influence on treatment decision-making may increase the likelihood of goal-concordant care throughout the illness trajectory.
Tulsky, JA; Steinhauser, KE; LeBlanc, TW; Bloom, N; Lyna, PR; Riley, J; Pollak, KI
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