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Prostate treatment decisions based on perception more than fact

rol disease or prolong life. As few as one in four patients in one study relied on evidence of a treatment efficacy for their decision.

Physicians and family, as well as race and culture may affect patients' decisions, but the degree of their respective influence varies in the literature and is often poorly measured, according to the review. Notably, physicians tended to present therapies in ways that were both confusing and dismissive of patient concerns about risks. This either biased patients' decisions or turned patients to other sources of information.

Finally, studies fail to show how and if patients actually critically analyze the quality of information they receive. It is very likely, the authors add, that patients "have significant limitations in their ability to identify biased information, as well as their ability to weigh complex information about the outcomes that are important to them."

"The perceptions of treatment efficacy related to cancer control far outweigh available supporting evidence, and most patients appear to select a prostate cancer treatment primarily based on its perceived ability to control the tumor," conclude the authors.


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Contact: Amy Molnar
amolnar@wiley.com
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
27-Mar-2006


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