Background: Information is vital to cancer patients. Physician–patient communication in oncology presents specific challenges. The aim of this study was to evaluate self-reported information of cancer patients in ambulatory care at a comprehensive cancer centre and examine its possible association with patients’ demographic and clinical characteristics.
Patients and methods: This study included adult patients with solid tumours undergoing chemotherapy at the Institute Jules Bordet’s Day Hospital over a ten-day period. EORTC QLQ-C30 and QLQ-INFO25 questionnaires were administered. Demographic and clinical data were collected. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used.
Results: One hundred and one patients (99%) fully completed the questionnaires. They were mostly Belgian (74.3%), female (78.2%), with a mean age of 56.9 ± 12.8 years. The most frequent tumour was breast cancer (58.4%). Patients were well-informed about the disease and treatments, but presented unmet information domains. The Jules Bordet patients desired more information on treatment side effects, long-term outcome, nutrition, and recurrence symptoms. Patients on clinical trials reported having received less information about their disease and less written information than patients outside clinical trials. Higher information levels were associated with higher quality of life (QoL) scores and higher patient satisfaction.
Conclusion: Patients were satisfied with the information they received and this correlated with higher QoL, but they still expressed unmet information wishes. Additional studies are required to investigate the quality of the information received by patients enrolled in clinical trials.