Older adults with advanced bladder cancer want more transparent communication from their health care providers when it comes to their diagnosis, treatment and care planning, new research finds.
While a common stereotype in cancer care is that older patients take over the authority of their healthcare provider, a recent study suggests that these patients want to feel more in control and have prompt, candid, and transparent communication from their healthcare providers.
“We learned that they really want to be involved in discussions about their care and have clear expectations for their treatment,” says Elizabeth Kessler, MD, a member of the University of Colorado Cancer Center and an associate professor of medical oncology at the CU School of Medicine. , one of the study’s authors, in a press release. “They want to be involved early in the process and not feel like they’re waiting or wanting information.”
Kessler and her co-investigators interviewed 10 patients with advanced bladder cancer in focus groups, with a mean age of 74 years.
In those interviews, study participants expressed a consistent desire for early, honest, and transparent communication from caregivers and more information about what to expect from changes in their physical capabilities, mobility, and independence.
The researchers also found that the patients appreciated not only information about their diagnosis and treatment with their doctors, but also conversations with other members of their healthcare team, such as nurses and medical assistants.
“What we found is that patients really want to talk about their prognosis and treatment from the get-go,” Kessler said. “Instead of focusing on end-of-life alignment, we’re now looking at ways to come up with a treatment plan that better aligns people’s care from the start.”
The study appeared in a recent edition of the Journal of Geriatric Oncology†