Purpose/Objectives: To characterize the perspectives of partners (husbands or significant others) of patients with breast cancer in the treatment decision-making process and to evaluate racial and ethnic differences in decision outcomes.
Design: A cross-sectional survey.
Setting: Los Angeles, CA, and Detroit, MI.
Sample: 517 partners of a population-based sample of patients with breast cancer four years post-treatment.
Methods: A self-administered mailed questionnaire. Chi-square tests and logistic regression were used to assess associations between race and ethnicity and decision outcomes.
Main Research Variables: Decision regret and three elements of the decision process: information received, actual involvement, and desired involvement.
Findings: Most partners reported receiving sufficient information (77%), being involved in treatment decisions (74%), and having sufficient involvement (73%). Less-acculturated Hispanic partners were more likely than their Caucasian counterparts to report high decision regret (45% versus 14%, p < 0.001). Factors significantly associated (p < 0.05) with high decision regret were insufficient receipt of treatment information, low involvement in decision making, and a desire for more involvement.
Conclusions: Partners were generally positive regarding their perspectives about participating in the breast cancer treatment decision-making process. However, less acculturated Hispanic partners were most vulnerable to decision regret. In addition, high decision regret was associated with modifiable elements of the decision-making process.
Implications for Nursing: Attention should be paid to ensuring racial and ethnic minority partners are sufficiently involved in breast cancer treatment decisions and receive decision support.