Cancer Disclosure in Iran: Attitude of Patients and Their Families

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Mahdi Aghili
Yalda Adili
Ali Kazemian
Zahra Khazaeipour


Disclosure, patients with cancer, truth telling, families, attitude


Background: The present study aims at determining the proportion of clinical information known by the patients with cancer and their families about diagnosis of their disease as well as investigating the different attitudes of patients and their families towards informing the patients of the malignant nature of the disease.

Methods: We designed a structured questionnaire which was completed by patients with cancer who were under follow up in Cancer Institute of Tehran University of Medical Sciences, and one member of their families who accompanied them while being treated. Patients, physicians, and patients’ family members were interviewed separately.

Results: A total of 250 cancer outpatients and 250 patients’ family members were interviewed. Overall, 227 patients (90.8%) desired to be informed of their diagnosis, and 98 patients (38.8%) declared that physicians informed them completely. One hundred fifty-three family members (61.2%) believed that patients are entitled to know the truth. Stepwise multiple logistic regression analysis indicated that patients’ educational grade (odds ratio: 6.08; 95% CI, 1.27 to 29.07) and patients’ age (odds ratio: 7.97; 95% CI, 1.25 to 50.59) were predictable factors for requesting to know the truth.

Conclusions: Findings of the present research indicated that most patients and family members wanted to be informed of the diagnosis; The present study suggests that physicians respect the patients' rights to know the truth and inform them accordingly. This can help them adapt themselves to new condition and manage their own life.

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