Context: Frequency of passive decisional control preferences (DCPs) has been variably reported but is generally higher among patients living in developing countries. Objectives: This prospective cross-sectional study aimed to determine the frequency of passive DCP among patients with advanced cancer in a tertiary cancer center in India and to identify its association with their sociodemographic and clinical characteristics. Methods: Patients with advanced cancer referred to palliative care (between March and August 2016) underwent assessment of DCP using validated tools including Control Preference Scale, Satisfaction with Decision Scale, and understanding of illness questionnaire. Information regarding patient characteristics including age, gender, education, marital status, employment, Karnofsky Performance Status Scale (KPS), cancer stage and type, and religion were also collected. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression analyses were performed. Results: Median age 48 years, Karnofsky 90, and 55.3% were men. Shared, active (patient prefers to make decision by his or her own), and passive DCP were 20.7%, 26.7%, and 52.7%, respectively (n = 150). A total of 51.3% were satisfied by the way the actual decisions were made. Passive DCP did not vary across regions. Multivariate analysis shows that the active DCP was significantly associated with better KPS (exp B 1.07 [1.01-1.15], P =.03). Conclusions: There are significant differences in DCP with KPS. Patients report a high level of satisfaction with their treatment decision-making process, though they have a poor understanding of their prognosis and goals of care and understand their treatment to be of curative intent. Individualized understanding of DCP and focus on illness understanding may be important for quality care and patient satisfaction outcomes.
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