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Tailoring communications to the evolving needs of patients throughout the cancer care trajectory: a qualitative exploration with breast cancer patients

Cited 10 time in Web of Science Cited 11 time in Scopus
Authors
Shim, Eun-Jung; Park, Jee Eun; Yi, Myungsun; Jung, Dooyoung; Lee, Kwang-Min; Hahm, Bong-Jin
Issue Date
2016-10-18
Publisher
BioMed Central
Citation
BMC Women's Health, 16(1):65
Keywords
Breast cancerConsultation timingDoctor-patient communicationDoctor-patient empathy
Description
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0
International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and
reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to
the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Abstract
Abstract

Background
Doctor-patient communication is a crucial aspect of patient care. This study explored the communication experience of patients in a cancer consultation over the course of the cancer continuum.


Methods
In-depth interviews with seven breast cancer patients were carried out.


Results
Themes related to communication experiences across the five phases of cancer consultation, from diagnosis to recurrence, were identified. The most salient issue is that patients also perceived cancer as a disease of the mind, which is not adequately cared for in consultation. This highlights the notion that cancer care providers should provide appropriate care for the psychological dimensions of the cancer experience with an empathic and sincere attitude during consultations. To this end, non-verbal aspects of communication that convey caring, support, and respect seem important. Furthermore, patients perceived that the consultation time was far shorter then they needed and reported that they felt pressured for time. Moreover, the stance taken by patients and the needs and preferences of patients varied across the phases of the cancer trajectory. As patients progressed through the phases of their treatment, they assumed more active roles in the course of their care and the need for more detailed information and questioning increased. Thus, ensuring that patients have opportunities to ask questions in the consultation is important.


Conclusion
Current findings suggest that the efficacy of communication varies depending on which phase patients are in and that effective communication should be tailored to these evolving needs and preferences of breast cancer patients. Also, patients perceived that the consultation did not adequately address their need for information related to their care or their emotional issues associated with the cancer experience. It is therefore important to address their needs by paying particular attention to non-verbal aspects of communication that convey empathy and respect toward patients, as well as allowing patients to ask questions.
Language
English
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10371/100450
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1186/s12905-016-0347-x
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College of Medicine/School of Medicine (의과대학/대학원)Psychiatry (정신과학전공)Journal Papers (저널논문_정신과학전공)
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