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Complex cancer industry trial literature is too confusing for patients to understand

Posted: May 6, 2012 at 3:48 pm

By J. D. Heyes

Have you ever read something so complex and confusing that it frustrated you to
the point of distraction? Well, a new study has found that cancer trial
literature causes that kind of frustration - and may be misleading to patients
as well.

According to Prof. Mary Dixon-Woods, professor of Medical Sociology at the
University of Leicester Department of Health Sciences in Great Britain, a
number of cancer patients found information leaflets describing cancer trials
too long, too incomprehensible and too intimidating.

"These information sheets are poorly aligned with patients' information
needs and how they really make decisions about whether to join a cancer
trial," said Dixon-Woods, lead author of the research http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-03/uol-cti032612.php,
which was published in the international journal Sociology of Health and

"Some patients did find them very useful, but many others paid them little
attention. They preferred to rely on discussions they had with their doctor to
make up their minds," she said. Read more…


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