From the journals
- John Marley
- Aust Prescr 1996;19:55
- 1 April 1996
- DOI: 10.18773/austprescr.1996.055
For patients with cancer, management decisions have to consider the quality of survival as well as the prolongation of life. Choices about treatment are often particularly stark. Participation in decision-making helps adaptation to illness, increases satisfaction with medical care and promotes acceptance of treatment. But, for some patients, it may impose undue responsibility, cause confusion, heighten anxiety or undermine trust in the doctor. The Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin reviewed the literature on where the balance lies.
Most patients with cancer wish to be fully informed about their disease and its treatment. Such involvement appears to help psychological well-being. Good communication is necessary even when decisions are left to the doctor.
Professor, Department of General Practice, University of Adelaide, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide