Look this summary over, then click on link to the entire study I have provided at the end of the article:

ONCOLOGY. Vol. 24 No. May 2010 6
Giving Honest Information to Patients With Advanced Cancer Maintains Hope
Thomas J. Smith, MD
Lindsay A. Dow, MD
Enid Virago, M.Div.
James Khatcheressian, MD
Laurel J. Lyckholm, MD
Robin Matsuyama, PhD
Massey Cancer Center
Virginia Commonwealth University
Richmond, Virginia
May 13, 2010

Background: Oncologists often do not give honest prognostic and treatment-effect information to patients with advanced disease. One of the primary reasons stated for witholding this information is to “not take away hope.” We could find no study that tested if hope was influenced by honest clinical information.
Methods: We tested decision-aids in 27 patients with advanced cancer who were facing first-, second-, third-, and fourth-line chemotherapy. These aids had printed estimates of treatment effect and the patient’s chance of survival and being cured (always zero). We measured hope using the Herth Hope Index, which ranks patients’ responses to 12 questions and yields a maximum score of 48.
Results: The scores on the Herth Hope Index did not change and the patients remained uniformly hopeful about their future. The pretest score was 44.2 (SD 3.9), and it increased to 44.8 (SD 3.86; P = .55 by paired Student’s t-test).
Conclusion: Hope is maintained when patients with advanced cancer are given truthful prognostic and treatment information, even when the news is bad.
Read the entire study–graphs and all–by going to Cancer Network.com: Honesty is the best policy! (I just made that last part up–but it’s true, the link works–and the study agrees with me!)

Feel good and keep smiling! Pat

Leave a Reply