Patient Understanding of Chemotherapy and Goals of Care as Provided by Different Care Team Members

Shanzay Suhail, Sandeep Basu, Sameer A. Batoo, Eyad S. Al-Hattab, Ola Kanj Ahmed, Barbara J. Eidahl, Scott H. Okuno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Chemotherapy can be challenging and overwhelming for patients, but when patients are knowledgeable about chemotherapy, their comfort level, overall satisfaction, and coping improve. It is currently unknown whether patients prefer information about chemotherapy to be provided by specific care team members and whether demographic characteristics affect learning preferences. We developed a 31-question questionnaire that asked patients when chemotherapy information was discussed and who they wanted that information to come from. The questionnaire was given to 50 patients who had completed 1 cycle of chemotherapy. Patients were evenly distributed among age categories of 45 to 64 years, 65 to 74 years, and 75 years or older. Thirty participants (60%) were women, 33 (66%) had high school degrees, and 23 (46%) were receiving their first chemotherapy regimen. Sixty percent of patients best understood goals of care from oncologists, 70% wanted goals of care to come from oncologists, and 61% best understood and wanted to understand logistics of chemotherapy from oncologists. Sixty-six percent of patients understood adverse effects when they were explained by nursing staff, and 56% wanted explanations of adverse effects to come from nursing staff. Patients did not prefer a specific care team member or information source when receiving financial cost information. Patients often preferred to receive chemotherapy information from their oncologist; however, other members of the care team also provided information to patients in a way that was understood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Cancer Education
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • Cancer
  • Education
  • Learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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