According to a new study published in BMJ Supportive and Palliative Care, the more information cancer patients receive about their disease, the better their outcomes will be. In fact, according to study results, these patients are twice as likely to experience a positive outcome.
The study, conducted by Dr. Caroline Kamau of Birkbeck, University of London, UK, and her colleagues, set out to investigate how clinicians can assist patients in preparing for the tough task of balancing a job with cancer treatment.
For the study, Dr. Kamau analyzed almost 3,500 patients whose data came from the National Cancer Patient Experience Survey. It was conducted by the UK’s department of Health from 2013 to 2014.
The team analyzed the relationship between how often patients received information that heightened their understanding of their illness, with the impact it had on their work and education. Results indicated that the likelihood of a progressive outcome was:
- 1.99 times greater in patients who received information about the type of cancer they were diagnosed with
- 1.90 times greater in patients who received information before they underwent a cancer-related operation
- 1.72 times greater in patients who received information about the impact of their disease on their work life and education
Researchers also discovered that patients who received information about the potential side effects of their disease were 35% less likely to experience a positive outcome, mainly because the information increased stress and uncertainty.
Dr. Kamau supported her findings with survey data from a wider sample of patients (6,700 patients) taken from a secondary analysis of survey data. She discovered similar results—the more information patients received about their disease, the better off they were.
Sources for Today’s Article:
Kamau, C., “Cancer treatment success nearly doubles when equipping patients with info about their disease, new study finds,” BMJ Supportive and Palliative Care, published online September 14, 2015.
Brazier, Y., “Awareness about cancer can double survival rates,” Medical News Today web site, September 14, 2015; http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/299353.php.