Document Detail

Effects of media information on cancer patients' opinions, feelings, decision-making process and physician-patient communication.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  14983505     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: The objective of the current study was to determine the influence of media information on the opinions and feelings of patients with cancer and to measure the factors that affected the decision-making process and physician-patient communication. METHODS: The study consisted of a sequence of 2 nationwide surveys across the same dynamic target population of 2600 unselected patients with cancer who attended 1 of 13 centers throughout Italy. The authors measured the changes in patients' opinions and attitudes at the peak of a media campaign promoting the Di Bella therapy, an unproven cancer treatment method, and after the publicized demonstration of its ineffectiveness. An identical 10-item questionnaire was used. RESULTS: Opinions and feelings changed in the two surveys according to the way the media described the efficacy of the treatment, but physician-patient communication and the decision-making process remained unchanged. Multivariate analysis confirmed the enormous influence of the media on patient opinions (odds ratio [OR], 4.67; P < 0.0001), feelings of hope (OR, 3.63; P < 0.0001), and confusion (OR, 0.51; P < 0.0001), but not on physician-patient communication or the decision-making process. Educational level influenced almost all of the studied factors, and communication and decision-making also were influenced by the patients' gender and place of residence. There was no significant correlation with patient age. CONCLUSIONS: The media play a powerful role in affecting patients' opinions and feelings; the physician-patient communication and the decision-making process are not subject to media influence but are related primarily to level of education. The power of the media should be directed toward improving the spread of scientific knowledge to encourage behavioral changes, particularly among individuals with lower levels of education.
Rodolfo Passalacqua; Caterina Caminiti; Stefania Salvagni; Sandro Barni; Giordano D Beretta; Paolo Carlini; Antonio Contu; Francesco Di Costanzo; Lucia Toscano; Francesco Campione
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Cancer     Volume:  100     ISSN:  0008-543X     ISO Abbreviation:  Cancer     Publication Date:  2004 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2004-02-25     Completed Date:  2004-03-18     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0374236     Medline TA:  Cancer     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1077-84     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright 2004 American Cancer Society.
Medical Oncology Division, Istituti Ospitalieri di Cremona, Cremona, Italy.
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MeSH Terms
Cross-Sectional Studies
Decision Making
Health Care Surveys
Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
Mass Media*
Medical Informatics
Multivariate Analysis
Neoplasms / prevention & control,  psychology,  therapy*
Odds Ratio
Patient Participation*
Patient Satisfaction
Physician-Patient Relations*
Treatment Outcome*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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