Dedicated to Understanding Cancer Treatment Decision making


Dr. Kirsten Weber

About the Researcher and the Study

Dr. Kirsten Weber, professor of Communication at Central Michigan University, along with her research team, is conducting an important and unique study on cancer treatment decision making.

After receiving a cancer diagnosis, patients are often asked to select appropriate treatments from several options. Research reveals that making treatment decisions is stressful for patients, and they often feel underinformed when making these decisions. The purpose of this research is to better understand how cancer patients make treatment decisions using information they receive from caregivers and medical practitioners.

Study Aims

Unpacking the complexity of information exchanges within caregiver and medical networks may help to improve the care and treatment of cancer patients in the following ways:

  1. This research will point to decision-making processes that predict more or less satisfaction with cancer treatments. Specifically, identifying decision making activities that can promote more satisfaction with treatment decisions can improve quality of life among those touched by cancer.
  2. This research will identify the communication characteristics of caregivers that facilitate fruitful exchanges about treatment decisions. Armed with this knowledge, medical professionals can identify patients who may need more clinical support for decision making.
  3. This research will advance information exchanges among caregivers and patients as a paradigm for understanding how patients make decisions. These findings could help our understanding of why patients choose to participate in clinical trials, for example.

About the Online Questionnaire

Cancer patients who have recently made a treatment decision for their cancer are invited to participate in this significant study. Participants will be asked to complete two online surveys approximately 3 months apart. In appreciation for their time and effort, participants will receive $25 for completing Survey 1 and $25 for completing Survey 2.

This research is made possible in part by grant through Central Michigan University.