ABSTRACT: Prognostic Disclosure to Patients with Cancer near the
End of Life
[07/18/2001; Annals of Internal Medicine]
Background: Patients' understanding of their prognosis informs
numerous medical and nonmedical decisions, but patients with
cancer and their physicians often have disparate prognostic expectations.
Objective: To determine whether physician behavior might contribute
to the disparity between patients' and physicians' prognostic expectations.
Conclusions: Physicians reported that even if patients with cancer
requested survival estimates, they would provide a frank estimate
only 37% of the time and would provide no estimate, a conscious
overestimate, or a conscious underestimate most of the time (63%).
This pattern may contribute to the observed disparities between physicians'
and patients' estimates of survival.
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