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Acta Neurochirurgica

, Volume 152, Issue 6, pp 973–984 | Cite as

Decision-making of vestibular schwannoma patients

  • Sabine Müller
  • Judith Arnolds
  • Ansel van Oosterhout
Clinical Article

Abstract

Background

Patients suffering from vestibular schwannoma can choose between four modalities of management: (1) wait-and-scan, (2) tumour resection, (3) radiosurgery and (4) fractionated radiotherapy.

Method

This study is based on postal questionnaire survey of 739 vestibular schwannoma patients (survey response rate, 78%). It not only investigates the decision-making of patients, especially the medical consultation, but also further influences on the therapy decision and the patients’ evaluation of possible side-effects of the treatment.

Results

Only a minority of the patients was informed about radiosurgery and radiotherapy at all.

Conclusion

The praxis of patient counselling of acoustic neuroma patients in Germany is far from the ideal condition of medical consultation: The most important shortcoming is that it is unilateral: About 69% of the patients are informed about only one treatment option, generally surgery. Furthermore, information about side effects is usually insufficient. We recommend to advice all patients on all treatment options by an interdisciplinary team. The counselling should firstly be based on evidence-based medicine and secondly respond to the patients’ individual life situation and preferences.

Keywords

Vestibular schwannoma Acoustic neuroma Decision-making Radiosurgery Counselling 

Notes

Acknowledgement

We thank Dieter Marten from the Vereinigung Akustikus Neurinom e. V. (VAN) for sending the questionnaires to the VAN members.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sabine Müller
    • 1
  • Judith Arnolds
    • 2
  • Ansel van Oosterhout
    • 3
  1. 1.Division of Medical Psychology, Department of Psychiatry and PsychotherapyUniversity Hospital BonnBonnGermany
  2. 2.Clinic and Policlinic for Ear, Nose and Throat MedicineUniversity EssenEssenGermany
  3. 3.Gamma Knife CenterUniversity Hospital AachenAachenGermany

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