Original Article

Assessing the willingness of patients’ companions to disclose bad news to cancer patients


Breaking bad news to patients is an essential aspect of the physician-patient relationship, but in Iran, this relationship is often disrupted by patients’ families. This study investigates the views of patients' companions on breaking cancer news. In this descriptive-analytic cross-sectional study, we conducted research on 170 cancer patients’ companions and 170 non-cancer patients’ companions. We designed a questionnaire to investigate the subjects’ opinions and used CVI, CVR, Cronbach's alpha and ICC for evaluation. In order to compare groups, we used Mann Whitney, Kruskal-Wallis, Chi-square tests and Spearman’s correlation. Most participants believed that patients should be informed of their diagnosis. Cancer patients' companions were more willing to learn the bad news in case they were diagnosed with cancer and were less likely to choose “despair” as the reason for non-disclosure (71% vs. 44%).There was no difference between the two groups in willingness to break the cancer news to patients, choosing who should be informed first, and the reasons for non-disclosure. Most participants believed the family should be the first to know the diagnosis. In this study, most participants believed that patients should be informed of their diagnosis. However, they preferred to learn about the diagnosis before the patient, which confirms the importance of educating the families about autonomy.

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IssueVol 15 (2022) QRcode
SectionOriginal Article(s)
DOI https://doi.org/10.18502/jmehm.v15i3.9549
Bad news; Autonomy; Patients’ rights; Cancer

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Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
How to Cite
Zardoui A, Yekaninejad MS, Kazemian A, Parsa M. Assessing the willingness of patients’ companions to disclose bad news to cancer patients. J Med Ethics Hist Med. 2022;15.