Dr Meisel on Perceptions of Patient/Provider Communication in Breast Cancer Care

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Jane L. Meisel, MD, shares information from a study that evaluated patient-reported perceptions of patient-provider communication in breast cancer care.

Jane L. Meisel, MD, associate professor, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, associate professor, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Emory University School of Medicine, and a researcher with Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, shares information from a study that evaluated patient-reported perceptions of patient-provider communication in breast cancer care and highlights how oncologists can better encourage shared decision-making in their clinical practice.

Notably, Meisel shared more information on this research in an interview with OncLive®. Meisel begins by stating that investigators garnered numerous study participants through Twitter and Facebook groups for patients with metastatic breast cancer, indicating that this was a relatively well-informed cohort. However, it's essential to acknowledge that the findings are constrained by the demographics of the surveyed population, Meisel explains. Despite this limitation, most patients surveyed felt adequately informed about treatment and potential treatment-related adverse effects (AEs), she emphasizes. Nonetheless, more than a quarter of participants expressed concerns about important topics being overlooked or insufficiently addressed during their medical consultations, Meisel notes.

These patients expressed a desire for extended discussions on treatment options, rather than simply receiving directives and information on AEs, she expands. They sought comprehensive information, both written and verbal, about potential AEs, Meisel states. Patients’ interest in testimonials from other patients is noteworthy, as hearing from other patients in similar situations can alleviate patients’ feelings of isolation, she explains, adding that patient testimonials detailing experiences with specific medications, their associated AEs, and their real-world implications could provide valuable insights for other patients. 

Although cancer treatments aim to prolong life, it is equally important to prioritize the quality of life of the patients receiving these treatments, Meisel continues. Ensuring that treatment decisions are collaborative and considering patient preferences regarding AEs and dosing schedules is important, she states. This approach fosters an open environment where patients feel comfortable discussing their experiences, enabling health care providers to address issues promptly and minimize AEs effectively, Meisel concludes.

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