Telling their stories, telling our stories: Physicians' experiences with patients who decide to gorgo or stop treatment for cancer

Irena Madjar, Lea Kacen, Samuel Ariad, Jim Denham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

There is currently very little research on how physicians respond to patients with cancer who decide to forgo or stop medically recommended "curative" therapy. The purpose of this article is to report on a qualitative study with 12 oncology specialists in Israel and Australia that addresses this question. The findings indicate that physicians tend to construct patients and their decisions in terms of mutually exclusive categories that focus on curability of the disease, rationality of the patient's decision, and patients' personal attributes. Physicians' constructions of their experience focus on uncertainty and concern. Although contextual factors play a role in how physicians act in this situation, Israeli and Australian oncologists are remarkably similar in how they describe their own and their patients' experiences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)428-441
Number of pages14
JournalQualitative Health Research
Volume17
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cancer
  • Doctor-patient interaction
  • Qualitative research
  • Refusal of treatment
  • Treatment decisions

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