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Title: The impact of patient-professional communication on women's adjustment to gynaecological cancer : a qualitative study
Author: Huseyin, Gulsen
ISNI:       0000 0004 2698 9080
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2006
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Communication between doctors and cancer patients has taken on a more diverse, complex and ongoing role in recent decades. Prognosis for women diagnosed with gynaecological cancer is often good and survival rates are increasing. Despite this, they may be inclined to experience more distress than patients diagnosed and treated with other forms of cancer. Previous research has sought to understand patient-professional interactions by focusing on specific behaviours and measuring patient psychosocial outcomes. This research is limited however, in how far it can improve communication, and shape communication behaviours of health care professionals. This study explores women's experiences of patientprofessional communication using a qualitative research method. Nine women who had been diagnosed with, and received treatment for gynaecological cancer, were interviewed in the study. They were asked about their experiences of communication with health professionals, and how they thought this had impacted on their psychological adjustment. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was employed to analyse the interview data. The themes identified in the study describe women's susceptibility to feelings of vulnerability and loss of control over the illness and their bodies. Women were faced with a substantial degree of uncertainty about their health status, at various stages of their care. The findings demonstrate that communication with health professionals is likely to play an important role in shaping women's illness identity and promoting feelings of control. Women also identified their interactions with professionals as being an important source of hope and reassurance. Possible social-cognitive processes that help us to understand the relationship between women's communication experiences and psychological adjustment are discussed. Guidelines for providing more 'patient-centred' communication, in order to meet the expressed needs and goals of women are given. Suggestions for future research are also made.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available