Article

Explicit Prognostic Information and Reassurance About Nonabandonment When Entering Palliative Breast Cancer Care: Findings From a Scripted Video-Vignette Study

Elsken van der Wall, Nicole M. Plum, and Jozien M. Bensing, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands.
Journal of Clinical Oncology (Impact Factor: 18.43). 08/2013; 31(26). DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2012.45.5865
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT PURPOSEWhen discussing the transition to palliative care for patients with breast cancer, oncologists have to find a balance between giving explicit information while not overwhelming patients and being realistic while remaining hopeful. It is unclear whether patients prefer more or less explicit prognostic information, and reassuring patients that they will not be abandoned may provide realistic hope. We assessed the effect of explicit prognostic information and reassurance about nonabandonment at the transition to palliative care. PATIENTS AND METHODS
An experimental 2 × 2 study was used. Four scripted videos of a bad news conversation were created that differed only in the level of "explicitness of prognosis" and "reassurance about nonabandonment" (high v low). Patients with and survivors of breast cancer (n = 51) and healthy women (n = 53) watched the video-vignettes. The effects of the different communications on participants' anxiety, uncertainty, self-efficacy, and satisfaction were assessed by using multilevel analyses that explored the moderating influences of monitoring/blunting scores.ResultsThe highly explicit/highly reassuring video yielded the most positive outcomes, and the less explicit/less reassuring video, the most negative (P ≤ .05 for all outcome measures except anxiety). The main effects found were that explicitness and reassurance decreased participants' uncertainty (P < .001 and P = .002, respectively) and anxiety (only after reassurance; P = .001) while increasing self-efficacy (P = .004 and P < .001, respectively) and satisfaction (P < .001 and P < .001, respectively). High monitors seemed least positive, mainly following explicitness. CONCLUSION
Explicit prognostic information may lead to better outcomes than general information. In addition, reassurance about nonabandonment might provide realistic hope but should be lived up to. More research is needed to translate these findings into clinical care.

0 Followers
 · 
53 Views
  • Milbank Quarterly 12/2013; 91(4):729-37. DOI:10.1111/1468-0009.12031 · 5.06 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Uncertainty is triggered by many events during the experience of illness - from hearing bad news to meeting a new doctor. Oncology professionals need to recognize the intense feelings associated with uncertainty and respond empathically to patients. This article describes opportunities to strengthen the therapeutic connection and minimize uncertainty.
    Supportive Care in Cancer 12/2013; DOI:10.1007/s00520-013-2086-y · 2.50 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Clinicians are sometimes reluctant to discuss prognosis with parents of children with life-threatening illness, usually because they worry about the emotional impact of this information. However, parents often want this prognostic information because it underpins informed decision-making, especially near the end of life. In addition, despite understandable clinician concerns about its emotional impact, prognostic disclosure can actually support hope and peace of mind among parents struggling to live with a child's illness. Children, too, may need to understand what is ahead to manage uncertainty and make plans for the ways their remaining life will be lived. In this article, we describe the ethical issues involved in disclosure of prognostic information to parents and children with life-threatening illness and offer practical guidance for these conversations.
    PEDIATRICS 02/2014; 133 Suppl 1:S24-30. DOI:10.1542/peds.2013-3608E · 5.30 Impact Factor
Show more