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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 82-91

Breaking bad news to patients: A qualitative study of views of patients' relatives

1 Department of Palliative Medicine, Dr B Borooah Cancer Institute, Guwahati, Assam, India
2 Department of Nursing, Dr B Borooah Cancer Institute, Guwahati, Assam, India
3 Department of Medico Social Work, Dr B Borooah Cancer Institute, Guwahati, Assam, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Kabindra Bhagabati
Department of Palliative Medicine, Room No 31, OPD Building, Dr B Borooah Cancer Institute, A K Azad Road, Gopinath Nagar, Guwahati - 781 016, Assam
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aort.aort_22_22

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BACKGROUND: In India, relatives do not want to disclose the diagnosis to patient. The aim of this study is to know what are the views, beliefs, and concerns of patients' relatives about disclosure of the diagnosis and prognosis to patients. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study was conducted at a tertiary cancer center in India. It was a qualitative research with grounded theory approach to study and understand the matrix of information sharing to cancer patients by the caregiving family members. Information was collected by asking to answer a questionnaire in their own language, which was transcribed to English language. This has been certified and approved by the hospital ethics committee. RESULTS: Fifteen eligible and consenting participants of patients' relatives were recruited during their first visit to the outpatient clinic. Patients were selected randomly from the age group of 18 to 60 years having cancer but without having any metabolic diseases. Although 93.3% of the patients were eager to know the information, only 20% of the relatives wanted to disclose diagnosis and 33.3% wanted to disclose all information to patients. Most of the relatives were concerned about the psychological breakdown and depression of patients. CONCLUSION: Several apprehensions were expressed by relatives regarding breaking bad news (BBN). The importance of BBN to patients in relation to enhance the trust between doctor and patient relationships and to improve the quality of life of patients should be conveyed to relatives, to assure them for improving better patient care.

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