Short Communication

Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 19, Issue 8, pp 1261-1266

Decisions for lung cancer chemotherapy: the influence of physician and patient factors

  • Patricia M. DavidsonAffiliated withCentre for Cardiovascular and Chronic Care, University of Technology Sydney Email author 
  • , Moyez JiwaAffiliated withHealth Innovation (Chronic Diseases), Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute (CHIRI), Curtin University
  • , Alice J. GoldsmithAffiliated withCentre for Cardiovascular and Chronic Care, University of Technology Sydney & Curtin University
  • , Sarah J. McGrathAffiliated withCentre for Cardiovascular and Chronic Care, University of Technology Sydney & Curtin University
  • , Michelle DiGiacomoAffiliated withCentre for Cardiovascular and Chronic Care, University of Technology Sydney & Curtin University
  • , Jane L. PhillipsAffiliated withThe Cunningham Centre for Palliative Care, The University of Notre Dame Australia
  • , Meera AgarAffiliated withSSWAHS Area Palliative Care Service (Western Zone), Braeside Hospital
  • , Phillip J. NewtonAffiliated withCentre for Cardiovascular and Chronic Care, University of Technology Sydney
  • , David C. CurrowAffiliated withDiscipline of Palliative and Supportive Services, Flinders University

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to review the literature examining how the beliefs and behaviours of physicians and patients influence clinical communication, doctor–patient interaction and treatment decisions for lung cancer treatment.

Methods

Literature was obtained via electronic database searches and hand searching of journals from 1990 to 2011.

Results

Wide variability in perceptions of the value of chemotherapy in lung cancer is present among both physicians and patients. There is a mismatch in the degree patients and physicians weigh survival, such that patients value survival benefits highly whilst physicians strongly emphasize toxicity and associated symptoms. This lack of congruence between patients and clinicians is influenced by a range of factors and has implications for treatment decisions, long-term survival and quality of life in people affected by lung cancer.

Conclusion

The divergence of treatment priorities indicates a need for improved communication strategies addressing the needs and concerns of both patients and clinicians. Patients should understand the benefits and risks of treatment options, while clinicians can gain a greater awareness of factors influencing patients’ decisions on treatments. Reflecting these perspectives and patient preferences for lung cancer treatment in clinical guidelines may improve clinician awareness.

Keywords

Lung cancer Chemotherapy Decision-making Patient preference