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Finances Affect Patient Decisions About Cancer Clinical Trials

Greater financial concern linked to lower self-efficacy and preparation for decision making

TUESDAY, Dec. 29, 2015 (HealthDay News) — For patients with cancer, financial concerns are associated with psychological factors that may impact their quality of decision making regarding clinical trials, according to research published online Dec. 23 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Yu-Ning Wong, M.D., from the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, and colleagues characterized the correlation between financial concerns and the quality of decision making about clinical trials in a secondary data analysis of a randomized trial of a web-based educational tool (Preparatory Education About Clinical Trials). Patients completed a questionnaire at baseline, which included three questions related to financial concerns; 1,211 patients completed at least one financial concern question. The results were calculated, with greater concerns indicated by higher scores.

The researchers observed a correlation for greater financial concern with lower self-efficacy and preparation for decision making. In addition, greater financial concern was associated with greater decisional conflict and distress, even after adjustment for variables such as age, race, sex, education, employment, and hospital location (P < 0.001 for all models).

“Financial concerns are associated with several psychological constructs that may negatively influence decision quality regarding clinical trials,” the authors write. “Greater attention to patients’ financial needs and concerns may reduce distress and improve patient decision making.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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