Publication Abstract

Authors: Sohl SJ, Borowski LA, Kent EE, Smith AW, Oakley-Girvan I, Rothman RL, Arora NK

Title: Cancer survivors' disclosure of complementary health approaches to physicians: the role of patient-centered communication.

Journal: Cancer 121(6):900-7

Date: 2015 Mar 15

Abstract: BACKGROUND: Cancer survivors' disclosure of complementary health approaches (CHAs) to their follow-up care physicians is necessary to ensure the safe and optimal use of such approaches. Rates of disclosure of CHAs are variable and may be facilitated by patient-centered communication. METHODS: This cross-sectional study conducted in 2003-2004 examined a population-based sample of leukemia, colorectal, and bladder cancer survivors (n=623) who were 2 to 5 years after their diagnosis. A subset of participants who reported using CHAs (n=196) was analyzed with multivariate logistic regression to examine the association between patients' perceptions of their physician's patient-centered communication (ie, information exchange, affective behavior, knowledge of patients as persons) and patients' disclosure of CHA use to their physician with adjustments for physician, patient, and patient-physician relationship factors. RESULTS: Thirty-one percent of the full sample used CHAs, and 47.6% of CHA users disclosed their use to their physicians. Disclosure was significantly associated with patient-centered communication even with adjustments for hypothesized covariates (odds ratio [OR], 1.37; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.09-1.71). Perceived physician knowledge of the patient as a person (OR, 1.28; 95% CI, 1.10-1.48) and information exchange (OR, 1.27; 95% CI, 1.02-1.60) were the aspects of patient-centered communication that contributed to this association. The main reason for nondisclosure assessed in the survey was that survivors did not think that it was important to discuss CHAs (67.0%). A majority of physicians encouraged continued use of CHAs when they were disclosed (64.8%). CONCLUSIONS: Results support the idea that improving the overall patient centeredness of cancer follow-up care and improving the disclosure of CHA use are potentially synergistic clinical goals.