Attitudes toward informing the cancer patient--a survey of Norwegian physicians

Loge JH, Kaasa S, Ekeberg Ø, Falkum E, Hytten K. European Journal of Cancer 1996; 32A(8): 1344-8.

Article in English.

Abstract on Pubmed:
To examine Norwegian physicians´ attitudes to informing patients of a diagnosis of cancer, a random sample of 1467 were surveyed. The respondents rated their level of agreement to 14 statements, and the responses were analysed by chi-squared statistics. 990 physicians responded (67%). Only 30.5% of the responding physicians had treated more than 10 cancer patients the previous year, which included 7.8% who had treated more than 50. 40.4% had treated none. The great majority (81%) preferred full information of the diagnosis. Physicians with increasing age preferred relatives not being present and gave priority to factual information and informing patients with the same diagnosis identically. Hospital physicians (39.5%) more often preferred other health professionals being present than physicians in private practice (18%) (P < 0.001). Number of cancer patients treated was not associated with attitudes toward the disclosure of information. Norwegian physicians prefer revealing the cancer diagnosis to patients, but have divergent opinions about how to do so. Some of these indicate suboptimal information-giving.

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