A systematic review of patient values, preferences and expectations for the treatment of recurrent ovarian cancer
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BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: It is our belief that patient preference should play a significant role in disease management of recurrent ovarian cancer. Since cure is seldom an endpoint in this circumstance, patients' attitudes toward the risks and benefits of chemotherapy versus palliation are relevant. METHODS: Medline, Embase, CINAHL and PsycINFO from were searched from January 1, 2000 to December 13, 2016 for studies of values, preferences or expectations of women with platinum-sensitive recurrent or refractory ovarian cancer. RESULTS: Ten studies representing five countries met inclusion criteria. Although there was regional variation in preference for palliation over treatment, certain themes emerged. 1) Patients, even in the context of counselling overestimated the curative capability of chemotherapy. In one study 92% of patients had high expectations of healing after completing an expectation of treatment checklist. Another study observed that patients are often overwhelmed by information provided at diagnosis and there can be a discrepancy between what patients report to have heard and what the clinicians said. 2) Patients who had previously tolerated chemotherapy well were more likely to be accepting of the side-effects of chemotherapy. 3) Patients were more willing to accept chemotherapy and the related side effects when treatment was of curative intent or when overall survival was increased. 4) Patients valued both overall and progression free survival. 5) A significant minority (24%) consistently chose treatment over palliation. 6) Patients were more willing to accept the side effects of chemotherapy than were their health care providers. CONCLUSIONS: These findings, in aggregate, highlight the importance of communication with patients regarding prognosis, adverse effects and symptom management to help negotiate the decision making process. Chemotherapy in the recurrent setting should be managed on a case by case basis, combining both medical constraints and consideration to patient preferences.
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