523P - Survey of patients’ knowledge relating to their cancer and its’ concordance with the treating medical teams. (523P)

Date 18 November 2017
Event ESMO Asia 2017 Congress
Session Poster lunch
Topics Palliative and Supportive Care
Patient Education
Presenter Arman Chowdhury
Citation Annals of Oncology (2017) 28 (suppl_10): x155-x165. 10.1093/annonc/mdx676
Authors A.R. Chowdhury1, K.I. Ahmed2, W. Faisal3
  • 1Clinical Oncology, Delta Medical College Hospital, 1216 - Dhaka/BD
  • 2Department Of Radiotherapy, Mymensingh Medical College Hospital, 220 - Mymensingh/BD
  • 3Medical Oncology, Ballarat Base Hospital, 3350 - Ballarat/AU

Abstract

Background

Patient empowerment is an important tool to help patients cope with their cancer diagnosis. Understanding the disease process, treatment intent & prognosis enables patients to prioritise their short- and long-term objectives during their cancer journey. Oncologists have an inherent obligation to clearly explain the diagnosis, disease extent and treatment objectives to their patients.

Methods

This is a cross-sectional survey of 46 oncology patients being treated with systemic chemotherapy in a tertiary-level oncology centre in Bangladesh. We tested the patients’ knowledge/awareness across 4 domains relating to their disease, namely, diagnosis, disease extent, treatment intent (i.e. curative/palliative) and prognosis (i.e. expected survival in months). The patients and their oncologists were interviewed based on a structured questionnaire.

Results

Of the 46 patients, 35 were aware of their cancer diagnosis (76%). However, out of 24 patients with metastatic disease, only 11 were aware of the extent of the disease (46%). According to the oncologists, 18 patients were being treated with curative intent and 28 patients with palliative intent; but a significant number of patients thought that they were being treated with curative intent (39 patients, 85%) while only 15% patients were aware of the palliative intent of their treatment. Most patients grossly overestimated their expected survival compared to their treating team (>12 months survival, 94% pts vs 57% doctors; 6-12 months, 4% pts vs 26% doctors). Across all 4 domains tested, the Lin’s concordance correlation coefficient was

Conclusions

This study highlights the ongoing need to improve on clinical communication between patients and their treating oncology teams. Not having a clear understanding of one’s cancer diagnosis, disease extent and treatment intent will only add to increased anxiety, distress and unrealistic expectations on the patient’s part. Clinicians have an obligation to close the knowledge gap and empower the patient with appropriate information, in a sensitive and compassionate manner.

Clinical trial identification

Legal entity responsible for the study

Dr Arman Reza Chowdhury

Funding

None

Disclosure

All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.