Nondisclosure of a cancer diagnosis and prognosis: Recommendations for future research and practice
Mahati Chittem, Sravannthi Maya, Shweta Chawak
Department of Liberal Arts, Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad, Telangana, India
Nondisclosure of a cancer diagnosis and prognosis is a common practice in many family-centric cultures wherein cancer is viewed negatively, resulting in family carers opposing truthful communication to patients. Oncologists comply with this request for diagnosis and/or prognosis nondisclosure owing to the cultural milieu, often choosing to describe the disease in less threatening terms such as “tumor” or “fever.” This review provides a snapshot of existing research exploring diagnosis and prognosis disclosure and nondisclosure from the perspectives of the oncologists, family carers, and the patient with a particular focus on the psychological outcomes for patients who are aware versus not aware of their diagnosis and/or prognosis. Further, this review makes recommendations for future research and practice in cancer diagnosis and prognosis communication in India (e.g., communication skills training for family carers and healthcare providers).
Department of Liberal Arts, Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad, Telangana
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None