1469P - Information desire of patients with advanced cancer

Date 01 October 2012
Event ESMO Congress 2012
Session Poster presentation III
Topics Psychosocial Aspects of Cancer
Patient Education
Presenter Linda Oostendorp
Authors L. Oostendorp1, P.B. Ottevanger2, W.T.A. van der Graaf2, P.F.M. Stalmeier3
  • 1Epidemiology, Biostatistics, And Hta, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, 6500 HB - Nijmegen/NL
  • 2Medical Oncology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center, Nijmegen/NL
  • 3Epidemiology, Biostatistics And Hta, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center, Nijmegen/NL



Studies on information desire of patients with cancer are typically performed in the curative setting or involve hypothetical decisions. In this study, we investigate the information desire of patients with advanced cancer at the point of decision making.


77 patients with advanced colorectal or breast cancer were included in this prospective study and filled in a questionnaire on sociodemographic data, well-being measures, and psychological measures, believed to be associated with information desire. Patients were faced with the decision whether or not to pursue second-line palliative chemotherapy. The oncologist provided the usual treatment-related information and made a substitute judgment of the patient's information desire. A nurse administered a decision aid with additional information on adverse events, tumour response, and survival. For each item, the nurse asked the patient whether the information was desired and whether it had been disclosed by the oncologist. Logistic regression analysis was performed to explore factors associated with information desire.


Median age was 62 years (range 32-80), 38% of patients were male, and 28% had college education or higher. Oncologists judged that information on adverse events, tumour response, and survival would be desired by 100%, 97%, and 80% of patients. The information on these items in the decision aid was desired by 95%, 91%, and 74% of patients. The question of whether the doctor had disclosed the information was answered positively by 72%, 53%, and 28% of patients. Results of the association between patient's information desire and demographic, clinical, and psychological measures will be presented.


Even in this advanced setting, most patients accepted all information in the decision aid. Patients perceived that the oncologists had not disclosed all desired information. While oncologists accurately judged that patients in this study had a high information desire, their judgment of information desire on tumour response and survival for an individual patient was no better than could be expected by chance. These results demonstrate the importance of ascertaining a patient's information desire, and communicating more candid, especially on survival.


All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.