The impact of patient-professional communication on women's adjustment to gynaecological cancer. A qualitative study

Prof Doc Thesis

Huseyin, Gulsen 2006. The impact of patient-professional communication on women's adjustment to gynaecological cancer. A qualitative study. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsHuseyin, Gulsen
TypeProf Doc Thesis

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
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.

Publication dates
PrintSep 2006
Publication process dates
Deposited15 Jul 2014
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