Urologists' attitudes regarding information sharing with prostate cancer patients-is there a common ground for collaboration with family physicians?

Orit Cohen Castel, Mordechai Alperin, Lea Ungar, Ina Kravtsov, Gilad E. Amiel, Khaled Karkabi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Clinicians often fail to adequately meet prostate cancer patients' information needs, and patients may receive different kinds of information from their doctors. This study aims to describe urologists' attitudes regarding information sharing with prostate cancer patients and to compare these findings with the previously published attitudes of Israeli family physicians. A questionnaire (11 items) was mailed to 87 board-certified practicing urologists. Fifty-four physicians (66%) completed the questionnaires. Sixty-one percent of respondents stated that patients should be told the complete truth about their disease. Ninety-six percent of respondents felt competent at breaking bad news and stated they would discuss emotions with patients. The majority of physicians would provide general information when referring for a medical procedure, discussing treatment options or a patient's prognosis. Fifty-seven percent of respondents preferred that patients be autonomous in their decision making. Only 26% of respondents believed that family physicians should communicate medical information to patients at the preliminary diagnostic stages. There was no significant difference in the attitudes expressed by urologists and family physicians towards the amount of information they would share with prostate cancer patients and in their preferences regarding treatment decision making. Urologists in Israel recognize the importance of sharing information with prostate cancer patients. Although urologists share similar attitudes with family physicians, they do not recognize the role that family physicians play in caring for prostate cancer patients. Further studies are needed to design and implement effective ways to improve the communication and collaboration between urologists and family physicians for the benefit of prostate cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-321
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cancer Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Family physicians
  • Information sharing
  • Physicians' attitudes
  • Prostate cancer
  • Urologists

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Oncology


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