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J Cancer Educ. 1999 Spring;14(1):41-6.

Qualitative analysis of the questions raised by patients with gynecologic cancers and their relatives in an educational support group.

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  • 1Department of Gynecologic Oncology, University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden.



People's knowledge of cancer is generally inadequate to help them cope with a diagnosis of cancer. Educational support groups may allow cancer patients to receive information they want that is normally not covered in the individual clinical encounter. It was desired to identify the content of such information as reflected in the questions asked by cancer patients and their relatives in such support groups.


The 329 questions asked by 41 patients and 11 of their relatives in 40 group sessions were analyzed and categorized.


The categories found are described. Almost 100 questions could be allocated to the category "the illness," of which the most common was, "Is cancer hereditary?" The questions made it clear that the patients had a wish and a need to understand cancer.


An educational support group provides a complement to, and not a substitute for, the clinical provision of medical information.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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