The choice dilemma in chronic hematological conditions: Why choosing is not only a medical issue? A psycho-cognitive perspective

Chiara Renzi, Silvia Riva, Marianna Masiero, Gabriella Pravettoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research in cognitive psychology focused on risk perception and decision making was shown to facilitate treatment choice and patient's satisfaction with decision in a number of medical conditions, increasing perceived alliance between patient and physician, and adherence to treatment. However, this aspect has been mostly neglected in the literature investigating choice of treatment for chronic hematological conditions. In this paper, a patient centered model and a shared decision making (SDM) approach to treatment switch in chronic hematological conditions, in particular chronic myeloid leukemia, atrial fibrillation, and β-thalassemia is proposed. These pathologies have a series of implications requiring important decisions about new available treatments. Although new generation treatmentsmay provide a significant improvement in patient's health and health-related quality of life (HrQoL), a significant percentage of them is uncertain about or refuse treatment switch, even when strongly suggested by healthcare guidelines. Possible cognitive and emotional factors which may influence decision making in this field and may prevent appropriate risk-and-benefits evaluation of new treatment approaches are reviewed. Possible adaptive strategies to improve quality of care, patient participation, adherence to treatment and final satisfaction are proposed, and implications relatively to new treatment options available are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-140
Number of pages7
JournalCritical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2016


  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Chronic myeloid leukemia
  • Decision making
  • Patients' decision
  • Treatment switch
  • β-Thalassemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Hematology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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