Cancer disclosure: Experiences of Iranian cancer patients

Wiley Blackwell
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Nursing and Health Sciences, 2012, 14 (2), pp. 250 - 256
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This study explored Iranian patients' experiences of cancer disclosure, paying particular attention to the ways of disclosure. Twenty cancer patients were invited to participate in this qualitative inquiry by research staff in the clinical setting. In-depth, semistructured interview data were analyzed through content analysis. The rigor of the study was established by principles of credibility, transferability, dependability, and confirmability. Four themes emerged: the atmosphere of non-disclosure, eventual disclosure, distress in knowing, and the desire for information. Non-disclosure was the norm for participants, and all individuals involved made efforts to maintain an atmosphere of non-disclosure. While a select few were informed of their diagnosis by a physician or another patient, the majority eventually became aware of their diagnosis indirectly by different ways. All participants experienced distress after disclosure. The participants wanted basic information about their prognosis and treatments from their treating physicians, but did not receive this information, and encountered difficulty accessing information elsewhere. These challenges highlight the need for changes in current medical practice in Iran, as well as patient and healthcare provider education.
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