Study: Half of Surveyed Cancer Patients Report Communication Problems With Physicians

A survey of cancer patients suggests major communication barriers between cancer patients and their physicians, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

For the study, researchers conducted in-depth telephone interviews with 78 cancer patients. An analysis of these interviews showed more than a quarter (28 percent) experienced some kind of problem with their medical care, such as a delay in diagnosis of treatment. Nearly half (47 percent) reported a communication problem, and another quarter (24 percent) reported both medical and communication problems.


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Cancer patients perceived that these communication or medical shortcoming caused physical or emotional harm, financial struggles, damaged trust in physicians and more. Notably, the researchers found most patients did not report these concerns. The researchers suggest healthcare providers establish systems designed to encourage better reporting of adverse events and communication between physicians and cancer patients.

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