Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Patient preferences in the spotlight

  • Published studies have explored the preferences of patients who have had a treatment or intervention, and have identified what benefits patients are prepared to accept in order to undergo the side effects and inconveniences of certain treatments.
  • Women with early breast cancer were asked what benefits they would require from their adjuvant chemotherapy in order to consider it worth the side effects and inconveniences. The majority of women considered much smaller benefits necessary than did the clinicians who treat early breast cancer.
  • The finding that patients with cancer are more likely to opt for aggressive, toxic treatment than people without cancer or health professionals has been replicated in a number of studies.

Duric VM, Stockler MR, Heritier S, Boyle F, Beith J, Sullivan A, Wilcken N, Coates AS, Simes RJ. Patients’ preferences for adjuvant chemotherapy in early breast cancer: what makes AC and CMF worthwhile now? Ann Oncol. 2005 Aug 25; 16(11):1786–94.

Slevin ML, Stubbs L, Plant HJ, Wilson P, Gregory WM, Armes PJ, Dower SM. Attitudes to chemotherapy: comparing views of patients with cancer with those of doctors, nurses, and general public. BMJ. 1990 Jun 2; 300(6737):1458-60.

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