Cultural, social and ethical concerns play an important role in disclosure of cancer diagnosis in Asian countries. This study explores about attitude and preference of Myanmar clinicians on truth telling of diagnosis of cancer.
In March 2017, a questionnaire about revealing cancer diagnosis was prepare and given to practicing clinicians. Their opinions and preference of disclosure were studied.
Questionnaires were completed by 243 clinicians. Age range from 20 yrs to 73 yrs (mean = 34.52 ± 12). Among them, 67.5% (164) were under age of 35yrs. General practitioners composed of 77% and oncologists were 9.4%. During their daily practice, 50.2% answered that breast cancer is the commonest type of cancer seen in clinic. Followed by lung cancer (21%), colorectal cancer (10.3%) and cervical cancer (9.5%). Regarding to whom to reveal cancer diagnosis, 54% answered patient and family first. Only 13% of clinicians agree to tell patient alone. 58% believe that education status of patient is the most important factors for revealing cancer diagnosis. A total of 106 clinicians (43.6%) answered that they let the patients know suffering from a serious disease (not mentioning the word of cancer) that needs further specialized treatment. Family request, protection of patients from psychological distress were the reasons not to tell the disease cancer. Full disclosure is preferred by 49.8% (121) who gave the reasons of respect on patient autonomy and to take treatment as early as possible. Young clinicians prefer to reveal about diagnosis of cancer than older counterpart. (Table)Table:574P
|Age||Not let to know||Let to know nonserious illness||Let to know serious but not cancer||Let to know cancer||Total|
|35 yrs||5||0||37(47.43%)||36 (46.15%)||78|
|(Missing = 6)||237|
Chi square test p = 0.075
In this study, variations of clinicians' preference of truth telling of cancer diagnosis were seen. Due to sensitive cultural beliefs and strong family influence, a significant number of practicing clinicians still prefer not to reveal the word of cancer to patients. However, full disclosure was prefer and practice more by young Myanmar clinicians in recent days.
Clinical trial identification
Legal entity responsible for the study
Thurein Mon Clinic
All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.