Do Patients Feel Well Informed in a Radiation Oncology Service?


Information received by cancer patients has gained importance in recent decades. The aim of this study was to evaluate the perception of information received by oncological patients in a radiotherapy department and to measure the importance of the other information sources. A cross-sectional study was conducted, evaluating patients who received radiotherapy. All the patients were asked two questionnaires: the EORTC QLQ-INFO26 module evaluating their satisfaction with received information, and a questionnaire analyzing other sources of information search. One hundred patients between 27 and 84 years were enrolled. Breast cancer (26 %) was the commonest cancer. Patients felt better informed about the medical tests and secondly about the performed treatment. The younger patients were those who were more satisfied with the information received and patients with no formal education felt less satisfied, with statistically significant differences. Patients did not seek external information; at the most, they asked relatives and other people with cancer. Patients were satisfied with the received information, although a high percentage would like more information. In general, patients did not search for external information sources. Age and educational level seem to influence in the satisfaction with the received information.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. 1.

    Palma A (2014) ¿Cuánta información desean recibir y cómo prefieren tomar sus decisiones pacientes con cáncer avanzado atendidos en una Unidad del Programa Nacional de Dolor y Cuidados Paliativos en Chile? Rev Med Chile 142:48–54

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Annunziata MA, Foladore S, Magri MD, Crivellari D, Feltrin A, Bidoli E et al (1998) Does the information level of cancer patients correlate with quality of life? A prospective study. Tumori 84(6):619–623

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Arenas M, Sabater S, Gascón M, Henríquez I, Bueno MJ, Rius À et al (2014) Quality assurance in radiotherapy: analysis of the causes of not starting or early radiotherapy withdrawal. Radiat Oncol 9(1):260

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Carlsson ME (2009) Cancer patients seeking information from sources outside the health care system: change over a decade. European journal of oncology nursing: the official journal of European oncology nursing. Society 13(4):304–305

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Zeguers M, de Haes HC, Zandbelt LC, Ter Hoeven CL, Franssen SJ, Geijsen DD et al (2012) The information needs of new radiotherapy patients: how to measure? Do they want to know everything? And if not, why? Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 82(1):418–424

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Smets EM, Hillen MA, Douma KF, Stalpers LJ, Koning CC, de Haes HC (2013) Does being informed and feeling informed affect patients’ trust in their radiation oncologist? Patient Educ Couns 90(3):330–337

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Arraras JI, Kuljanic-Vlasic K, Bjordal K, Yun YH, Efficace F, Holzner B et al (2007) EORTC QLQ-INFO26: a questionnaire to assess information given to cancer patients a preliminary analysis in eight countries. Psycho-Oncology 16(3):249–254

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Arraras JI, Wright S, Greimel E, Holzner B, Kuljanic-Vlasic K, Velikova G et al (2004) Development of a questionnaire to evaluate the information needs of cancer patients: the EORTC questionnaire. Patient Educ Couns 54(2):235–241

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Dimoska A, Butow PN, Dent E, Arnold B, Brown RF, Tattersall MH (2008) An examination of the initial cancer consultation of medical and radiation oncologists using the Cancode interaction analysis system. Br J Cancer 98(9):1508–1514

    CAS  Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Hack TF, Ruether JD, Pickles T, Bultz BD, Chateau D, Degner LF (2012) Behind closed doors II: systematic analysis of prostate cancer patients primary treatment consultations with radiation oncologists and predictors of satisfaction with communication. Psycho-Oncology 21(8):809–817

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Fujimori M, Shirai Y, Asai M, Kubota K, Katsumata N, Uchitomi Y (2014) Effect of communication skills training program for oncologists based on patient preferences for communication when receiving bad news: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. 32(20):2166–2172

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Hillen MA, de Haes HC, Stalpers LJ, Klinkenbijl JH, Eddes EH, Butow PN et al (2014) How can communication by oncologists enhance patients’ trust? An experimental study. Annals of oncology : official journal of the European Society for Medical Oncology / ESMO 25(4):896–901

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Fagerlind H, Kettis A, Glimelius B, Ring L (2013) Barriers against psychosocial communication: oncologist’s perceptions. Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology 31(30):3815–3822

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Sabater S, Mur E, Müller K, Arenas M (2012) Predicting compliance and survival in palliative whole-brain radiotherapy for brain metastases. Clinical and. Transl Oncol 14(1):43–49

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Singh JA, Sloan JA, Atherton PJ, Smith T, Hack TF, Huschka MM et al (2010) Preferred roles in treatment decision making among patients with cancer: a pooled analysis of studies using the control preferences scale. Am J Manag Care 16(9):688–696

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Douma KF, Koning CC, de Haes HC, Zandbelt LC, Stalpers LJ, Smets EM (2012) Do radiation oncologists tailor information to patients needs? And, if so, does it affect patients? Acta Oncol 51(4):512–520

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Nagler RH, Gray SW, Romantan A, Kelly BJ, DeMichele A, Armstrong K et al (2010) Differences in information seeking among breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer patients: results from a population-based survey. Patient Educ Couns 81(Suppl):S54–S62

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Ebel MD, Stellamanns J, Keinki C, Rudolph I, Huebner J (2015) Cancer Patients and the Internet: a Survey Among German Cancer Patients. J Cancer Educ: Off J Am Assoc Cancer Educ

  19. 19.

    Adler J, Paelecke-Habermann Y, Jahn P, Landenberger M, Leplow B, Vordermark D (2009) Patient information in radiation oncology: a cross-sectional pilot study using the EORTC QLQ-INFO26 module. Radiat Oncol 4:40

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Zissiadis Y, Provis A, Harper E, Kearney E, McDonald L, Dhaliwal S (2006) Patient satisfaction in radiation oncology. Australas Radiol 50:455–462

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Tulsky JA, Arnold RM, Alexander SC, Olsen MK, Jeffreys AS, Rodriguez KL et al (2011) Enhancing communication between oncologists and patients with a computer-based training program. Ann Intern Med 155:593–601

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    Benjamins MR (2006) Does religion influence patient satisfaction? Am J Health Behav 30(1):85–91

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Esther Jimenez-Jimenez.

Electronic supplementary material


(PDF 35 kb)


(PDF 203 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Jimenez-Jimenez, E., Mateos, P., Ortiz, I. et al. Do Patients Feel Well Informed in a Radiation Oncology Service?. J Canc Educ 33, 346–351 (2018).

Download citation


  • Information
  • Patient
  • Cancer
  • Radiotherapy