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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 15

of 'Communication of prognosis in palliative care'

Patients' understanding of treatment goals and disease course and their relationship with optimism, hope, and quality of life: a preliminary study among advanced breast cancer outpatients before receiving palliative treatment.
Soylu C, Babacan T, Sever AR, Altundag K
Support Care Cancer. 2016 Aug;24(8):3481-8. Epub 2016 Mar 22.
PURPOSE: The aims of this study were to explore advanced breast cancer patients' knowledge of treatment intent and expectation of illness course and to evaluate their relationship with optimism, hope, and quality of life (QoL).
METHODS: Patients with advanced breast cancer (n = 55) who were treated in the ambulatory clinic of the University of Hacettepe were included in the study. They completed Life Orientation Scale, The Hope Scale, and the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life questionnaires. The data regarding the knowledge of illness progression and the perceptions of therapy intent were assessed using self-administered open-ended questionnaires that were answered by the patients.
RESULTS: The data revealed that 58.2 % of the patients had an inaccurate perception of treatment intent, believing the aim of treatment was cure, whereas only 38.2 % of the patients had a realistic expectation that their disease may remain stable or may progress over a year. In addition, the awareness of disease progression and perception of goals of treatment was significantly related to hope and optimism scores but not to QoL.
CONCLUSIONS: A large proportion of patients diagnosed with advanced breast cancer believed that their treatment was "curative", and they would improve within a year. Findings of our study suggest that patients with inaccurate perception of treatment intent and unrealistic expectation of prognosis have higher hope and optimism scores than those who do not, but there were no significant differences in terms of global health status.
Department of Psychology, Beytepe Campus, Hacettepe University, 06800, Ankara, Turkey. csoylu@hacettepe.edu.tr.