Making Decisions

In reviewing the category Making decisions, I constructed the following themes: (1) regaining a sense of control, (2) changing worldview, (3) medical knowledge, and (4) gut-feelings. The theme regaining a sense of control describes how decisions are based upon need to exert control over the situation. Changing worldview describes how diagnosis and treatment has changes the way decisions are made. The theme medical information describes the medical information used to inform decisions. Finally, the theme gut-feelings describes how certain decisions just feel like they are the right ones.

Regaining a sense of control

Looking at the theme name itself, the word regaining, supports that one of the goals of Making decisions is to regain a sense of control.

Changing worldview

Diagnosis itself is a trigger for a change in worldview, and all decisions made after diagnosis are considered through this new lens.

Medical information

Medical information received from the healthcare team as well as other information sources (e.g. academic resource, trusted internet sources, support groups), informs decisions.


Gut-feelings (related to personal values) combine with medical information to inform decisions.


Decision making is a process of searching for ways of regaining a sense of control after a diagnosis that takes away the sense of order. Diagnosis created a new lens, i.e. new worldview, through which to use medical information along with gut-feelings to make decisions.

Footnote: Icons used to construct this image are all CC0 licensed, retrieved from the following sources: (1) magnifying glass:, (2) medical information:, (3) gut-feeling:, and (4) control:

Author: Rebecca

Rebecca J. Hogue, PhD(ABD) has been an active blogger since 2008. She maintains a travel blog (, academic/professional blog (, and a cancer journey blog ( She is an Associate Lecturer in the Instructional Design Master's Program at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, and a PhD Candidate at the University of Ottawa (Ottawa, Canada). Rebecca's research looks at Patient Health Literacy - specifically the things that she learned and shared as a breast cancer blogger. Rebecca currently resides in Sunnyvale California.

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