Considerations guiding physicians when informing cancer patients

Marianne Amir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The objective of the present research was to study, in a multivariate design, the cinsiderations that guide the physician when informing cancer patients about their diagnosis and prognosis. General surgeons (104) in Israel were presented with hypothetical case stories and other questionnaires. It was found that the main factor guiding the physician, when informing about the diagnosis, is the approach the physician holds towards information to cancer patients. When informing about the prognosis other factors were found relevant, the main one being the seriousness of the disease. Other considerations guiding for both diagnosis and prognosis were patient characteristics, such as questions asked and intelligence of patient as perceived by physician. Tenure of physician was important in that senior physicians tend to give a more optimistic prognosis than their junior colleagues, but not a more benign diagnosis. The findings were discussed in terms of the combination of variables encouraging openness or reticence from the physician.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)741-748
Number of pages8
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1987
Externally publishedYes


  • cancer patients
  • information
  • physicians

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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