1471P - Announcing cancer in a developing country: how is it different?

Date 01 October 2012
Event ESMO Congress 2012
Session Poster presentation III
Topics Psychosocial Aspects of Cancer
Presenter Rhizlane Belbaraka
Authors R. Belbaraka1, A. Mahfoudi2, M. Khouchani3, A. Tahri4
  • 1Oncologie Médicale, Cadi Ayad university, 40000 - Marrakech/MA
  • 2Centre Oncologie Hematologie, Cadi Ayad university, 40000 - Marrakech/MA
  • 3university cadi ayyad, 40000 - Marrakech/MA
  • 4Chu, Mohamed Vi, university cadi ayyad, 40000 - Marrakech/MA

Abstract

Background

Announcing a cancer diagnosis, but also a relapse, a progression of the disease, or transition towards palliative care constitute particularly difficult communication issues for the patient as well as for the clinician, during the trajectory of care. The study aimed to describe the difficulties in establishing a “good” announcing consultation, to provide indications or even recommendations on the ways to facilitate communication in order to ensure a optimal quality of care, responding to patients needs and ensuring the continuity of the care.

Patients and methods

A semi-directive questionnaire with 21 items in Arabic were conducted in patients with cancer to evaluate their perception of the announcement of cancer.

Results

189 patients aged 18-78 years participated in the questionnaire. Participation was on a voluntary basis and patients were informed they could be accompanied by an outside person if they wished. The analysis revealed that several factors determined the quality of the relation as perceived by the patient receiving the announcement of cancer: the relationship between the patient and the physician prior to the announcement, the practitioner's consideration of the role of others (family, friends) close to the patient, the practitioner's respect of the patient's desire for information, and the modalities of the announcement. Modalities considered to be favorable were: the physician's empathy and availability, a progressive announcement using clear terms, presence of family or friends at the time of the announcement if desired by the patient, absence of half-truths or lies.

Conclusion

Announcing a diagnosis of cancer is a major challenge to the physician's technical competence and human qualities. This is probably one of the greatest challenges that we have to face in oncology. This work confirmed that better knowledge of the patient's experience is useful for examining our practices for announcing the diagnosis of cancer.

Disclosure

All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.