Objective: To evaluate what information and communication aspects older cancer patients (≥65) consider important in preparing for chemotherapy treatment (CT), the extent to which this corresponds with what oncology nurses consider important, and the extent to which nurses attend to these aspects during real-life educational visits in oncology.
Methods: The QUOTEchemo was used to have patients (n = 116) and nurses (n = 123) rate the importance of 66 aspects of patient education. Subsequently, the implementation of these 66 aspects during videotaped nursing visits (n = 155) with older cancer patients receiving CT for the first time was examined.
Results: Older cancer patients attached most importance to ‘treatment-related information’, ‘rehabilitation information’, ‘affective communication’ and discussing ‘realistic expectations’. Nurses placed great importance to almost all aspects except to discussing ‘realistic expectations’. Discrepancies were found between expressed importance and the actual performance during the videotaped consultations, particularly in discussing realistic expectations, coping information, interpersonal communication, and tailored communication.
Conclusion: Results pointed to aspects that need improvement to ensure high quality patient education tailored to the patients’ needs.
Practice implications: To make sure older cancer patients’ needs are met, more attention should be paid to the development of interventions supporting both needs assessment and fulfillment.
Keywords: Health communication; Information needs; Patient-provider interaction; Older patients; Cancer; Chemotherapy treatment; Quality of communication; Video recordings