Patient Satisfaction Increases When Patients Involved in Decision Making

More than three-quarters of patients report being satisfied with their care when they are involved in the treatment decision making process, according to a study in Cancer.

Researchers analyzed the satisfaction and psychological distress of radiation oncology patients in relation to their involvement in treatment decision making.

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They found 31.3 percent of patients were involved with shared-decision making and 32.3 percent perceived a sense of control in their decision making. A large majority of patients, 76.2 percent, reported feeling "very satisfied" with their care.

Patients who desired control in their treatments but did not perceive control reported higher levels of psychological distress, including anxiety, depression and fatigue.

Researchers suggest shared decision making and patient-perceived control are important factors in patient satisfaction in radiation oncology. They suggest it is important to engage patients in the decision making process, even if they may not exhibit a desire for control.

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