To Tell or Not to Tell: Exploring the Preferences and Attitudes of Patients and Family Caregivers on Disclosure of a Cancer-Related Diagnosis and Prognosis

Cancer-related communication is a complex process and not just the mere transfer of information. It is important to understand the preferences of patients and family caregivers about disclosure of diagnosis and prognosis to avoid demoralization and ensure therapeutic bonding. Although Western medical practice emphasizes completely truthful disclosure of diagnosis, studies have shown that the majority of physicians working in Southern-European and Asian countries do not agree with that2: Only one third of Italian patients were informed about their cancer diagnoses
and less than half of them knew about their prognoses; the majority of the Japanese population preferred full disclosure of the diagnosis and preferred only partial disclosure of prognosis, because they feared it would become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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