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J Cancer Educ. 2013 Jun;28(2):346-51. doi: 10.1007/s13187-012-0404-6.

Patient distress and emotional disclosure: a study of Chinese cancer patients.

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Department of Oncology, PLA General Hospital of Chengdu Military Region, Chengdu, China.


The study was conducted to extend research on the reluctance for emotional disclosure to Chinese patients with a variety of types of cancer. A quantitative survey was conducted among 400 cancer patients in China. Statistical analysis revealed that among four confirmed factors on reluctance for emotional disclosure to physicians, no perceived need scored highest, followed by unwillingness to bother, no practical use, and fear of negative impact. Patient distress was negatively associated with no perceived need and no practical use. Patients with low family support scored significantly lower in all factors except fear of negative impact. Education and income affected the factor of no perceived need. Those patients having limited family support and limited education indicated a higher need for emotional support from their physicians and were more likely to open up to them. Cultural traits should be integrated into supportive cancer care research.

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