Age Differences in Cancer Treatment Decision Making and Social Support

Jessica L. Krok-Schoen, Angela L. Palmer-Wackerly, Phokeng M. Dailey, Julianne C. Wojno, Janice L. Krieger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the decision-making (DM) styles of younger (18-39 years), middle-aged (40-59 years), and older (≥60 years) cancer survivors, the type and role of social support, and patient satisfaction with cancer treatment DM. Method: Adult cancer survivors (N = 604) were surveyed using Qualtrics online software. Results: Older adults reported significantly lower influence of support on DM than younger adults. The most common DM style for the age groups was collaborative DM with their doctors. Younger age was a significant predictor of independent (p <.05), collaborative with family (p <.001), delegated to doctor (p <.01), delegated to family (p <.001), and demanding (p <.001) DM styles. Discussion: Despite having lower received social support in cancer treatment DM, older adults were more satisfied with their DM than younger and middle-aged adults. Health care workers should be aware of different DM styles and influence of social networks to help facilitate optimal patient DM and satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-205
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2017


  • age differences
  • decision making
  • older adults
  • social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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