Patients' Perceptions of Physicians Communication and Outcomes of the Accrual to Trial Process

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The purpose of this study was to examine the relations among patients' perceptions of their physicians' communicative behavior during the informed consent interview, the patient's feeling of being confirmed by the physician and satisfied with care delivered by the physician, and the patient's decision to participate in a clinical trial or not. Respondents included 130 cancer patients who were eligible for a clinical trial and who had recently discussed trial participation with their physicians. Results indicated that a linear combination of the variables physician affiliative style, physician dominant or controlling style, patient satisfaction, patient confirmation, patient preference for decision making, patient desire for information, and patient age discriminate between patients who agree to participate in clinical trials and patients who refuse to participate. Physicians' affiliative communicative behaviors and patient satisfaction were clearly important to patients who agreed to participate. Motivations for patients who declined to participate in trials were less clear. Implications for physicians who offer clinical trials to their patients are that specific communication skills may enhance their patients' satisfaction and may help increase enrollment in clinical trials.

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Health Communication, v. 12, issue 1, p. 23-39.