Cancer Patients Benefit From Full Access to Medical
MONDAY, May 23 (HealthDay News) -- Cancer patients who are given
full access to their medical records feel a greater sense of
satisfaction about their treatment, a new study finds.
The French researchers also found that providing comprehensive
and accurate medical information built trust between patient and
Published online May 23 in the journal
Cancer, the study analyzed 295 patients recently diagnosed with lymphoma, breast or colon cancer. All were being treated with chemotherapy.
The patients received either "on request information" or an
organized medical record (OMR) -- a briefcase full of detailed
information about their condition and treatment. That information
included reports on everything from surgery to radiology and
pathology results, along with nurse narratives and treatment
observations. Along with the OMR, they were given guides on medical
terms and how to understand the material, as well as help from
medical staff to decipher the various documents.
Ninety-eight percent of the patients who were offered an OMR
chose to take it.
Patients who received on-request information were only provided
with information and medical records if they asked for them or
their doctor offered them.
Similar anxiety levels and quality-of-life scores were reported
in the two groups.
But, patients with OMRs were 1.68 times more likely to be
satisfied with their medical information and were 1.86 times more
likely to feel fully informed, the study authors noted.
And 70.4 percent of the patients who received an OMR said they
would choose again to receive it, with 74.8 percent saying they did
not regret their choice. Moreover, the majority of those patients
reported that the OMR had not been the source of any anxiety.
"Information is crucial to make decisions regarding treatment options and, for the patient and his family, to better cope with the disease and its implications," study author Dr. Gwenaelle Gravis, of the Paoli-Calmettes Institute in Marseille, said in a news release from the journal's publisher. "Having full access to his own medical record with the possibility to consult it only if desired increases the patient's trust in the physician and medical team."
The American Cancer Society provides insight on how to
cope with cancer in everyday life.
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