The Role of Health Care Provider and Partner Decisional Support in Patients’ Cancer Treatment Decision-Making Satisfaction

Angela L. Palmer-Wackerly, Janice L. Krieger, Nancy D. Rhodes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Cancer patients rely on multiple sources of support when making treatment decisions; however, most research studies examine the influence of health care provider support while the influence of family member support is understudied. The current study fills this gap by examining the influence of health care providers and partners on decision-making satisfaction. In a cross-sectional study via an online Qualtrics panel, we surveyed cancer patients who reported that they had a spouse or romantic partner when making cancer treatment decisions (n = 479). Decisional support was measured using 5-point, single-item scales for emotional support, informational support, informational-advice support, and appraisal support. Decision-making satisfaction was measured using Holmes-Rovner and colleagues’ (1996) Satisfaction With Decision Scale. We conducted a mediated regression analysis to examine treatment decision-making satisfaction for all participants and a moderated mediation analysis to examine treatment satisfaction among those patients offered a clinical trial. Results indicated that partner support significantly and partially mediated the relationship between health care provider support and patients’ decision-making satisfaction but that results did not vary by enrollment in a clinical trial. This study shows how and why decisional support from partners affects communication between health care providers and cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-19
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Health Communication
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Library and Information Sciences


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