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Prognostic communication preferences of migrant patients and their relatives


Mitchinson, D and Butow, P and Sze, M and Aldridge, L and Hui, R and Vardy, J and Eisenbruch, M and Iedema, R and Goldstein, D, Prognostic communication preferences of migrant patients and their relatives, Psycho-Oncology, 21, (5) pp. 496-504. ISSN 1099-1611 (2012) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1002/pon.1923


Objectives: Migrant patients comprise a significant proportion of Western oncologistsí clientele. Although previous research has found that barriers exist in the communication between ethnically diverse patients and health professionals, little is known about their personal preferences for communication and information, or the concordance of views held between patients and family members. Methods: Seventy-three patients (31 Anglo-Australians, and 20 Chinese, 11 Arabic and 11 Greek migrants) and 65 relatives (25 Anglo-Australians, and 23 Chinese, 11 Arabic and 7 Greek migrants) were recruited through nine Sydney oncology clinics. Following prognostic consultations, participants were interviewed in their preferred language about their experiences and ideals regarding information and communication with oncologists. Interviews were audiotaped, translated and transcribed, and then thematically analysed using N-Vivo software. Results: Consistency was found in patient preferences, regardless of ethnicity, in that almost all patients preferred prognostic information to be delivered in a caring and personalised manner from an authoritative oncologist. Contrary to previous research, migrant patients often expressed a desire for prognostic disclosure. Discordance was found between migrant patients and their families. These families displayed traditional non-Western preferences of nondisclosure of prognosis and wanted to actively influence consultations by meeting with oncologists separately beforehand and directing the oncologists on what and how information should be conveyed to patients. Conclusions: Many of the communication issues facing patients in the metastatic cancer setting are shared amongst Anglo-Australian and migrant patients alike. Understanding the dynamics within migrant families is also an important component in providing culturally sensitive communication. Future directions for research are provided.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:migrants; cancer; oncology; prognosis; communication; preferences
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Health services and systems not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Evaluation of health and support services
Objective Field:Social structure and health
UTAS Author:Iedema, R (Professor Rick Iedema)
ID Code:94368
Year Published:2012
Web of Science® Times Cited:46
Deposited By:Health Sciences B
Deposited On:2014-09-08
Last Modified:2014-12-03

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