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Information behaviour and decision-making in patients during their cancer journey

Shih-Chuan Chen (Department of Library and Information Sciences, Fu Jen Catholic University, New Taipei City, Taiwan)

The Electronic Library

ISSN: 0264-0473

Article publication date: 5 June 2017

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the effect of cancer patients’ information behaviour on their decision-making at the diagnosis and treatment stages of their cancer journey. Patients’ information sources and their decision-making approaches were analyzed.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 15 participants.

Findings

The cancer patients sought information from various sources in choosing a hospital, physician, treatment method, diet and alternative therapy. Physicians were the primary information source. The patients’ approaches to treatment decision-making were diverse. An informed approach was adopted by nine patients, a paternalistic approach by four and a shared decision-making approach by only two.

Practical implications

In practice, the findings may assist hospitals and medical professionals in fostering pertinent interactions with patients.

Originality/value

The findings can enhance researcher understanding regarding the effect of cancer patients’ information behaviour on their decision-making.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This study was supported by a grant from the Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan (102-2410-H-030-088).

Citation

Chen, S.-C. (2017), "Information behaviour and decision-making in patients during their cancer journey", The Electronic Library, Vol. 35 No. 3, pp. 494-506. https://doi.org/10.1108/EL-03-2016-0062

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited