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Revista Española de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 2173-9110Print version ISSN 1135-5727


MARTIN-FERNANDEZ, Roberto; ABT-SACKS, Analía; PERESTELO-PEREZ, Lilisbeth  and  SERRANO-AGUILAR, Pedro. Shared Decision Making in Breast Cancer: Womens' Attitudes. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2013, vol.87, n.1, pp.59-72. ISSN 2173-9110.

Background: The patient autonomy and the greater role for women with breast cancer in the decisions about their health are recent issues in healthcare. The objective of this work is to identify and characterize the elements that influence them in treatment decisions. Methods: A phenomenological type qualitative study. Theoretical Sampling included 70 women diagnosed with breast cancer. 45 semi structured interviews and 3 focus groups were performed between October 2009 and July 2010 in 15 regions of Spain. The analysis was based on the principles of grounded theory with the support of Atlas.ti v6.1. Results: Patients are likely to take an active or passive role regarding decision-making depending on different variables such as their age, the information available, their self-assessment as capable agents to make decisions and the relative importance given to physical appearance. As the disease progresses, it can cause a change in women attitude, from an initially passive attitude to a more active role. The attitude of health professionals concerning shared decision-making and the information they offer determines patient participation while the family plays an essential role as a support or reinforcement of decisions made by patients. Conclusions: The patients' attitude regarding the decision-making of patients is very variable, becoming increasingly important the emotional status, the level of information available and the influence of the context.

Keywords : Breast neoplasms; Patient participation; Patient preferences; Qualitative research; Decision making.

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