OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to assess the willingness to accept chemotherapy among elderly Malaysians.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, patients aged 60 and above from various clinics/wards were recruited. Those giving consent were interviewed using a questionnaire.
RESULTS: A total of 75 patients were recruited, 35 patients (47%) with a history of cancer. The median age was 73 years old. There were 29 Chinese (38.7%), 22 Indian (29.3%), 20 Malay (26.7%) and four other ethnicity patients. Some 83% and 73% of patients willing to accept strong and mild chemotherapy, respectively. Patients with cancer were more willing to accept strong and mild chemotherapy compared to the non-cancer group (88.6% vs 62.5%, P=0.005, 94% vs 80%, P=0.068). On sub-analysis, 71.4% and 42.9% of Chinese patients without a history of cancer were not willing to receive strong and mild chemotherapy, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: The majority of elderly patients in UMMC were willing to receive chemotherapy if they had cancer. Experience with previous treatment had positive influence on the willingness to undergo chemotherapy.