A recent study has found that women who
gather bit by bit information about breast cancer treatment and take some time
to decide about the treatment regime are more likely to take wiser decisions
than those who end up making all decisions in haste.
Researchers studied whether asking women to make a series of simpler choices instead of one complex decision would help them understand when aggressive post-surgery therapies like chemotherapy would actually yield larger benefits.
The researchers found that the women who were not good with numbers got confused when offered with as few as four treatment options at once. They chose chemotherapy regardless of whether their benefit would be 1% or 5%, while women who were good with numbers made a smarter choice. Professor Zikmund-Fisher added, "Even women who are good with numbers benefit from having information presented piece-by-piece because they can better understand how much benefit comes from each treatment option." These findings clarify about physician-patient communication.