Study finds that cancer patients protect themselves from bad news

Posted by er134 at Mar 06, 2014 10:50 AM |
Leicester healthcare professionals develop support tool to help determine patients’ preferences during consultation

A new research study, led by Professor Anne Thomas (pictured), from our Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine has informed new guidelines to help patients better understand their cancer consultations.

The experiences of doctors, patients and carers of initial cancer consultations has informed the study, published in the British Journal of Health Psychology, and found that patients employed a variety of defensive mechanisms to help protect themselves from fully understanding the knowledge given to them during oncology consultations.

Using information from this analysis and data from a larger study, the researchers have developed a consultation tool for doctors and patients to refer to that will identify the patients’ preferences with regard to ‘knowing and not knowing’ about their diagnosis, prognosis and treatments.

The researchers now hope to expand on this pilot study to explore the acceptability and usability of their consultation support tool. Once they have proved its effectiveness in practice, it is hoped that it will be adopted into current patient pathways.