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No harm to the patient-doctor relationship from prognostic disclosure

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Dr K K Aggarwal    18 February 2018

(November 2017)

Most doctors are reluctant to discuss prognostic information directly with the patient  due to  concerns about a negative impact on the patient-doctor relationship.

Accumulating evidence from a study in  J Clin Oncol 2018; 36:225, however suggests that prognostic disclosure will improve patient satisfaction and strengthen the therapeutic alliance.

 

 

Study

In a prospective longitudinal cohort study of 265 adult patients with advanced cancer, the extent to which oncologists engaged patients in discussions regarding prognosis and treatment options was assessed using the Prognostic and Treatment Choices scale, and patients ratings of the patient-doctor relationship was assessed.

A one-unit increase in the PTCC score of the recorded visit was associated with a significant, although small, improvement in patient ratings of the therapeutic alliance within seven days and at three months after the visit.

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