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Title: The patterns and predictors of disease disclosure by patients with cancer
Author: Munro, Heather Alison
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2012
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Previous qualitative research has identified that disclosing a diagnosis to loved ones, is one of the hardest aspects of having cancer (Hilton et al, 2009). Although there is an extensive literature on disclosure of general information about the self, less is known about the extent to which people go on to talk about their diagnosis and the helpfulness of such disclosure within the specific context of cancer. Therefore the current study aimed to quantify disclosure patterns by measuring the degree of disclosure as well as the perceived helpfulness of disclosure. It also sought to determine the factors associated with disclosure and helpfulness of disclosure. The study was a cross-sectional postal questionnaire survey of 120 patients who had recently received a diagnosis of either lung, colorectal or skin cancer. Results indicated that the majority of patients disclosed to a variety of social targets, and most found it helpful to disclose. ‗Dispositional openness‘ and ‗perceived social support‘ were found to predict the extent of disclosure, as well as the helpfulness of disclosure. The results suggest that individual differences and situational factors may impact on disclosure and that medical professionals may play an important role in the disclosure process. With reference to the limitations, directions for future research are discussed, as well as the implications for clinical practice.
Supervisor: Grunfeld, Elizabeth Alice Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available