Collaborative/Active Participation per se Does Not Decrease Anxiety in Breast Cancer

Zsuzsanna KAHÁN1, Katalin VARGA1, Rita DUDÁS1, Tibor NYÁRI2, László THURZÓ1

1Department of Oncotherapy, University of Szeged, Szeged, Hungary
2Department of Medical Informatics, University of Szeged, Szeged, Hungary


The information needs of breast cancer patients on their disease, its treatment, the prognosis, and their attitude to decision-making concerning treatment were assessed. One hundred and fifty early and 45 metastatic breast cancer patients were recruited into the study. The amount of information and role in the treatment decision-making process preferred by the patient were independently estimated by the patient and the oncologist, using questionnaires. Information was provided in accordance with the wishes of the patient as perceived by the physician. Test of anxiety was performed before, and one week after the consultation. Most of the patients claimed to anticipate the provision of extensive information and an active role in the decision-making, but real interest during the consultation was found less frequently. The post-consultation anxiety test revealed a significant decrease in situational anxiety; this was not related to the patient’s information needs or her attitude to the decision-making concerning treatment. Our study demonstrates that a significant decrease in anxiety may be achieved via a consultation tailored to the needs of the patient. Loading the patient with information and involvement in the decision regarding therapy as much as the patient seems comfortable with lowers distress. Pathology & Oncology Research, Vol 12, Nr 2, 93-101, 2006

Key words: anxiety; early breast cancer; information needs; metastatic breast cancer; treatment decision-making

Received: Nov 14, 2005; accepted: Mar 20, 2006
Correspondence: Zsuzsanna KAHÁN, Department of Oncotherapy, University of Szeged, Korányi fasor 12. Szeged H-6720, Hungary; Tel: 36-62-545406, Fax: 36-62-545922; E-mail:

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