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Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences
School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia
ISSN: 1394-195X
Vol. 19, No. 3, 2012, pp. 36-42
Bioline Code: mj12034
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences, Vol. 19, No. 3, 2012, pp. 36-42

 en Perceptions of Receiving Bad News about Cancer among Bone Cancer Patients in Sarawak General Hospital - A Descriptive Study
Lian , Cheah Whye; Dollah, Nurul Bahariah & Thon, Chang Ching


Background: This study aimed to determine the perceptions and expectations of bone cancer patients with respect to their doctors and the breaking of bad news as well as the environment in which the news was delivered.
Methods: A cross-sectional study using a pretested 41-item questionnaire was conducted using convenience sampling among bone cancer patients in Sarawak General Hospital. Face-to-face interviews were conducted after consent was obtained. Data were analysed using SPSS version 16 (SPSS Inc., IL, US).
Results: A total of 30 patients were interviewed. The majority of the respondents were younger than 40-years-old, Malays, and female. All of the respondents perceived that they received news in a comfortable place, agreed that the doctor used simple language and appropriate words during the interaction, and believed that the way the doctor delivered the news might influence their life. The majority of the respondents reported that their news was received without interruption, that the doctor was sitting close but without making physical contact, and time was given for patient to ask questions and they were informed accordingly.
Conclusion: Delivering bad news regarding cancer is an important communication skill and a complex task that can be learned and acquired. Specially tailored training is proposed to improve medical practice in this area.

bone neoplasms, communication barrier, health care, truth disclosure

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