Giving honest information to patients with advanced cancer maintains hope.

Thomas J. Smith, Lindsay A. Dow, Enid Virago, James Khatcheressian, Laurel J. Lyckholm, Robin Matsuyama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Oncologists often do not give honest prognostic and treatment-effect information to patients with advanced disease. One of the primary reasons stated for witholding this information is to "not take away hope." We could find no study that tested if hope was influenced by honest clinical information. METHODS: We tested decision-aids in 27 patients with advanced cancer who were facing first-, second-, third-, and fourth-line chemotherapy. These aids had printed estimates of treatment effect and the patient's chance of survival and being cured (always zero). We measured hope using the Herth Hope Index, which ranks patients' responses to 12 questions and yields a maximum score of 48. RESULTS: The scores on the Herth Hope Index did not change and the patients remained uniformly hopeful about their future. The pretest score was 44.2 (SD 3.9), and it increased to 44.8 (SD 3.86; P = .55 by paired Student's t-test). CONCLUSION: Hope is maintained when patients with advanced cancer are given truthful prognostic and treatment information, even when the news is bad.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)521-525
Number of pages5
JournalOncology
Volume24
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 2010
Externally publishedYes

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

Cite this

Smith, T. J., Dow, L. A., Virago, E., Khatcheressian, J., Lyckholm, L. J., & Matsuyama, R. (2010). Giving honest information to patients with advanced cancer maintains hope. Oncology, 24(6), 521-525.

Giving honest information to patients with advanced cancer maintains hope. / Smith, Thomas J.; Dow, Lindsay A.; Virago, Enid; Khatcheressian, James; Lyckholm, Laurel J.; Matsuyama, Robin.

In: Oncology, Vol. 24, No. 6, 05.2010, p. 521-525.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Smith, TJ, Dow, LA, Virago, E, Khatcheressian, J, Lyckholm, LJ & Matsuyama, R 2010, 'Giving honest information to patients with advanced cancer maintains hope.', Oncology, vol. 24, no. 6, pp. 521-525.
Smith TJ, Dow LA, Virago E, Khatcheressian J, Lyckholm LJ, Matsuyama R. Giving honest information to patients with advanced cancer maintains hope. Oncology. 2010 May;24(6):521-525.
Smith, Thomas J. ; Dow, Lindsay A. ; Virago, Enid ; Khatcheressian, James ; Lyckholm, Laurel J. ; Matsuyama, Robin. / Giving honest information to patients with advanced cancer maintains hope. In: Oncology. 2010 ; Vol. 24, No. 6. pp. 521-525.
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AU - Matsuyama, Robin

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