“Making My Own Decisions Sometimes”: A Pilot Study of Young Adult Cancer Survivors’ Perspectives on Medical Decision-Making

L. Aubree Shay, Susanne Schmidt, Stephanie D. Cornell, Helen M. Parsons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


This study aimed to provide a better understanding of the medical decision-making preferences and experiences of young adult survivors of pediatric, adolescent, and young adult cancers. We conducted key informant interviews and a cross-sectional mailed survey with young adult survivors (currently aged 18–39 years) of pediatric, adolescent, and young adult cancers in South Texas. Of the responding survivors, almost all wanted to be actively involved in medical decision-making, but preferences regarding family and doctor involvement varied. In open-ended responses, the most commonly reported concerns related to medical decision-making were feelings of uncertainty and fear of receiving bad news. Survivors reported that they desired more information in order to feel better about medical decision-making. Due to the variety of preferences regarding decision-making and who to include in the process, physicians should be prepared to ask and accommodate patients regarding their decision-making preferences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Cancer Education
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jul 27 2017
Externally publishedYes



  • Adolescent and young adult
  • Cancer survivors
  • Medical decision-making
  • Pilot study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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