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Prostate cancer, Decision making, Information preferences, Patient education



  1. Davison, B. Joyce PhD, RN
  2. Gleave, Martin E. MD, FRCSC, FACS
  3. Goldenberg, S. Larry MD, FRCSC, FACS
  4. Degner, Lesley F. PhD, RN
  5. Hoffart, Doug BSc
  6. Berkowitz, Jonathan PhD


The purpose of this study was to identify and compare information and decision preferences of men with prostate cancer and their partners at the time of diagnosis. A convenience sample of 80 couples was recruited from The Prostate Centre in Vancouver, Canada. Participants used a computerized version of two previously used measures with this population: Control Preferences Scale and Information Survey Questionnaire. Results showed that men had a preference to play either an active or a collaborative role in decision making with their physician (92.5%) and partners (100%). The majority (55%) of partners wanted to play a collaborative role in treatment decision making. Couples identified prognosis, stage of disease, treatment options, and side effects as the top 4 information preferences. Men ranked information on sexuality more important than partners, and partners ranked information on home self-care higher than men. Men who had sons, a positive family history, and lower levels of education ranked heredity risk significantly higher. Profiles of information categories did not differ according to role preferences of either men or partners. The computer program has been shown to be a reliable and acceptable method of assessing information and decision preferences of these couples. An individualized approach is suggested, given the high reliability of individual's profiles.