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Confident communication with doctor improves quality of life


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Self-efficacy in an area simply means how confident you are you will succeed at a task in that area.

It seems to me that this paper suggests that if we can help educate men so they feel more capable of understanding their disease and communicating with their doctors, they will have a better quality of life.

J Urol. 2011 Nov;186(5):1855-61. Epub 2011 Sep 25.

The role of self-efficacy in quality of life for disadvantaged men with prostate cancer.

Heckman JE, Chamie K, Maliski SL, Fink A, Kwan L, Connor SE, Litwin MS.


Department of Urology, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California-Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California; Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.



Self-efficacy is associated with increased participation in treatment decision making and improved health related quality of life. We examined the influence of perceived efficacy in patient-physician interactions on health related quality of life among low income, uninsured men with prostate cancer during a 2-year period.


We analyzed data derived on participants enrolled in a state funded program providing free prostate cancer treatment and care to indigent men. We used validated instruments to measure patient self-efficacy (confidence in interacting with physicians), and the general and prostate specific health related quality of life outcomes of urinary, sexual and bowel bother, symptom distress, psychological well-being and vitality. We performed repeated measures analysis with general linear mixed modeling to estimate the association of sociodemographic and clinical covariates with health related quality of life.


Our cohort included a total of 472 observations in 99 men. Self-efficacy had a measurable effect on subjective measurements of general and disease specific health related quality of life. Men with the lowest self-efficacy had inferior mean health related quality of life scores across all outcomes. Low self-efficacy was significantly associated with worse bowel bother and general symptom distress during the 2-year study period. Similar health related quality of life outcomes trajectories were observed across self-efficacy categories.


Of disadvantaged men with clinically localized prostate cancer those with the lowest self-efficacy in physician interactions fared worst across all measured domains of health related quality of life. Interventions to improve patient-physician communication in this population may provide physicians with a supplemental method by which to address health perceptions, mitigate symptom experience and improve health outcomes.

Copyright © 2011 American Urological Association Education and Research, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID: 21944084

This extract can be found on http://PubMed.com, and is in the public domain.

On PubMed.com there will be a link to the full paper (often $30, sometimes free).

Any highlighting (except the title) is not by the author, but by Jim Marshall.Jim is not a doctor.

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