Conceptualizing prognostic awareness in advanced cancer: A systematic review

Abstract

This systematic review synthesizes the complex literature on prognostic awareness in cancer. A total of 37 studies examining
cancer patients’ understanding of their prognosis were included. Prognostic awareness definitions and assessment methods were
inconsistent across studies. A surprisingly high percentage of patients (up to 75%) were unaware of their poor prognosis,
and in several studies, even their cancer diagnosis (up to 96%), particularly in studies conducted outside of North America.
This review highlights surprisingly low rates of prognostic awareness in patients with advanced cancer as well as discrepancies
in prognostic awareness assessment, suggesting the need for empirically validated measures of prognostic awareness.

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