Breast cancer patients' use of health information in decision making and coping

Journal Name: 
Cancer Nurs
BACKGROUND: Breast cancer patients are some of today's most proactive healthcare consumers. Given how the media has highlighted the many issues involved in breast cancer, the unprecedented rise of consumerism in general, and the rise of healthcare consumerism specifically, a plethora of information on breast cancer has emerged in both scientific and popular media. It is timely and appropriate to consider breast cancer patients' perspectives regarding their search for health-related information and its use for treatment decision making and coping. OBJECTIVE: The present study explores health information-seeking behaviors (passive and active), use of health information, sources of health information, and how such information is or is not used in patients' decision making about their treatment. METHODS: This study used a secondary analysis of data regarding health information-seeking behaviors and treatment decisions from 2 separate but compatible qualitative data sets based on in-depth interviews with a total of 35 breast cancer survivors. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis. RESULTS: The majority of participating women were active information seekers (n = 26). Of the subsets of women who described their level of involvement in treatment decision making, the largest number (n = 13) reported a shared responsibility for decision making with their physician, and the next largest subset (n = 9) reported making the final decision themselves. CONCLUSION: These findings provide an enhanced understanding of the preferred source and method of delivery of information given health information-seeking behaviors and decision-making strategies. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: How health information is delivered in the future given these findings is discussed with specific attention to matching patient preferences with delivery methods to potentially enhance patients' sense of agency with regard to treatment, which has been shown to improve patients' psychosocial outcomes
analysis, Attention, Breast, cancer patients, decision, Decision Making, delivery, electronic, Family, Health, information, Interviews, Methods, Ohio, patient, Patient Preference, Patients, Social Work, understanding, Universities, women