Health Services Research & Development

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Wallner LP, Reyes-Gastelum D, Hamilton AS, Ward KC, Hawley ST, Haymart MR. Patient-Perceived Lack of Choice in Receipt of Radioactive Iodine for Treatment of Differentiated Thyroid Cancer. Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. 2019 Aug 20; 37(24):2152-2161.
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Abstract: PURPOSE: For many patients with differentiated thyroid cancer, use of radioactive iodine (RAI) does not improve survival or reduce recurrence risk. Yet there is wide variation in RAI use, emphasizing the importance of understanding patient perspectives regarding RAI decision making. PATIENTS AND METHODS: All eligible patients diagnosed with thyroid cancer from 2014 to 2015 from the Georgia and Los Angeles SEER registries were surveyed (N = 2,632; response rate, 63%). Patients in whom selective RAI use is recommended were included in this analysis (n = 1,319). Patients were asked whether they felt like they had a choice to receive RAI (yes or no), how strongly their physician recommended RAI (5-point Likert-type scale), whether they received RAI (yes or no), and how satisfied they were with their RAI decision (more [score of 4 or greater] less). Multivariable, weighted logistic regression with multiple imputation was used to assess the associations between patient characteristics and perception of no RAI choice and between perception of no RAI choice with receipt of RAI and decision satisfaction. RESULTS: More than half of respondents (55.8%) perceived they did not have an RAI choice, and the majority of patients (75.9%) received RAI. The odds of perceiving no RAI choice was greater among those whose physician strongly recommended RAI (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 1.56; 95% CI, 1.13 to 2.17). Patients who perceived they did not have an RAI choice were more likely to receive RAI (adjusted OR, 2.50; 95% CI, 1.64 to 3.82) and report lower decision satisfaction (adjusted OR, 2.31; 95% CI, 1.67 to 3.20). CONCLUSION: Many patients did not feel they had a choice about whether to receive RAI. Patients who perceived they did not have a choice were more likely to receive RAI and report lower decision satisfaction, suggesting a need for more shared decision making to reduce overtreatment.