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Patient Educ Couns. 2016 Oct;99(10):1576-83. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2016.03.028. Epub 2016 Mar 31.

Patient-provider communication about the emotional cues and concerns of adolescent and young adult patients and their family members when receiving a diagnosis of cancer.

Author information

1
Department of Behavioural Sciences in Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1111 Blindern, N-0317 Oslo, Norway; Department of Paediatric Medicine, Oslo University Hospital, P. O. Box 4950 Nydalen, N-0424 Oslo, Norway. Electronic address: live.korsvold@medisin.uio.no.
2
Department of Behavioural Sciences in Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1111 Blindern, N-0317 Oslo, Norway.
3
Department of Behavioural Sciences in Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1111 Blindern, N-0317 Oslo, Norway; Department of Paediatric Medicine, Oslo University Hospital, P. O. Box 4950 Nydalen, N-0424 Oslo, Norway; National Resource Center for Late Effects after Cancer Treatment, Oslo University Hospital, Radiumhospitalet, P. O. Box 4953 Nydalen, N-0424 Oslo, Norway.
4
Department of Paediatric Medicine, Oslo University Hospital, P. O. Box 4950 Nydalen, N-0424 Oslo, Norway.
5
Regional Centre for Excellence in Palliative Care, Oslo University Hospital, P. O. Box 4956 Nydalen, N-0424 Oslo, Norway.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This study aimed to examine how emotional cues/concerns are expressed and responded to in medical consultations with adolescent and young adults (AYA), an understudied patient group, at the time of cancer diagnosis.

METHODS:

Nine consultations in which AYA patients aged 12-25 years were informed about their cancer diagnosis and treatment plans were audio recorded. Expressions of emotional cues/concerns and physicians' responses were identified and coded using The Verona Coding Definitions of Emotional Sequences (VR-CoDES).

RESULTS:

A total of 135 emotional cues/concerns (range: 2-26, median: 13) were identified. Cues or concerns that were expressed by patients and relatives following questions from physicians were more often explicit than patient-initiated cues/concerns. Questions about medical and practical issues could often be understood as ways of expressing emotional cues. When patients or relatives expressed less explicit verbal cues about underlying concerns, physicians often responded by presenting medical information without commenting on the emotional aspect indicated by the cue.

CONCLUSION:

The communication was dominated by information-giving, but the questions from patients and relatives and their responses to the information often had emotional connotations.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS:

Patients' requests for information may include an emotional aspect. These preliminary findings should be tested in a larger sample.

KEYWORDS:

Adolescents and young adults; Cancer; Clinician-patient relationship; Emotional communication; Empathy

PMID:
27139576
DOI:
10.1016/j.pec.2016.03.028
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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