Involvement of family members of older patients with cancer in triadic decision-making processes on an outpatient ward

Bea Dijkman, Marie Louise Luttik, Wolter Paans, Barbara van Leeuwen, Hanneke van der Wal-Huisman

Onderzoeksoutput: PosterAcademic


Introduction: Involvement of family members in shared decision-making (SDM) processes for older cancer patients has become a topic of increasing interest but can be challenging for physicians. Yet, there is a need to understand the unique features of family involvement in SDM.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to identify how and to what extent family members of older patients with cancer, together with patients and physicians, are involved in triadic decision-making processes in clinical practice.
Methods: Qualitative observations of 25 consultations between physicians (n=10), patients ≥ 70 years (n=25), and family members (n=30) at the oncology outpatient clinic. Consultations were audiotaped and transcribed. The OPTIONMCC tool was used to evaluate the SDM process. Data analysis followed a thematic deductive approach using Atlas-ti.
Results: Patients showed greater participation in the SDM process than family members. Family members' involvement in SDM varied from no involvement to active involvement. Their participation can be characterized by several key factors, including emphasizing the patient's values and goals of care, asking questions about various treatment options, offering assistance in the decision-making process, and providing clarification and organization of the overall care process. Observed physicians' SDM skills were at a low or moderate level. Physicians kept their focus on patients and were responsive to family members but did not actively involve them in SDM.
Conclusion: Family members of older patients with cancer showed varying levels of involvement in the SDM process, while physicians were observed to not actively involve them. To increase family involvement in SDM in a way that is beneficial for all parties involved we recommend including patient and family-oriented strategies in SDM training for physicians.
Originele taal-2English
StatusPublished - 9 nov. 2023
EvenementSIOG : Annual Conference - Valencia, Spain
Duur: 9 nov. 202311 nov. 2023


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  • betrokkenheid
  • familie
  • oudere patiënten met kanker


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