Background: Shared decision making and an integrative approach is expected to result in better outcomes, but might require more time. While ensuring that sufficient consultation time is essential to quality cancer care, it is not clear whether cancer patients feel that the amount of consultation time with their oncologists is sufficient. Methods: Data were collected from 2,556 cancer patients on their perceived and preferred consultation time, and included potential predictors, such as socio-demographics, clinical, behavioral, and quality-of-life factors, as well as potential outcomes, including unmet patient needs, trust in doctor, and satisfaction. The feeling of insufficient consultation time was defined as the perception that consultation time is less than the preferred consultation time; multivariate analyses were used for identification of predictors and comparison of outcomes. Results: Overall, 37.1% felt that consultation time was less than preferred. Younger age, female sex, higher education level, having national health insurance, having been diagnosed with less common cancers, and having anxiety/depression were significantly associated with feelings of insufficient consultation time. Subjects with a feeling of insufficient consultation time reported higher current needs for information, physical symptoms, and psychological problems. They also reported less trust in their physician, lower overall satisfaction, and lower intention to continue treatment at the current cancer center. Conclusion: This study illustrated that high-quality cancer care, characterized by shared decision making and an integrative approach, seems to be related to sufficient consultation time that meets the individual's subjective needs, and measures should be taken to ensure sufficient consultation time.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by a grant from the National Cancer Center of Korea.
Acknowledgments This study has been supported by a grant from the National Cancer Center (Grant number; 0710170, 0910191), Republic of Korea. The authors would also like to thank the reviewers of this paper for their valid suggestions, which contributed to the improvement of the paper.
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