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Title: How doctors record breaking bad news in ovarian cancer
Authors: Kirwan, J. M.
Tincello, Douglas G.
Lavender, T.
Kingston, R. E.
First Published: 18-Mar-2003
Publisher: Cancer Research UK
Citation: British Journal of Cancer, 2003, 88 (6), pp. 839-842
Abstract: Revealing the diagnosis of cancer to patients is a key event in their cancer journey. At present, there are no minimal legal recommendations for documenting such consultations. We reviewed the Hospital records of 359 patients with epithelial ovarian cancer in the Mersey Area between 1992 and 1994. We identified the following factors: age, hospital, postcode, surgeon, stage of disease and survival. These were compared to information recorded at the time of the interview such as person present, descriptive words used, prognosis, further treatment and emotional response. In 11.6%, there was no information recorded in the notes. The diagnosis was recorded in 304 (94.7%), prognosis in 66 (20.6%) and collusion with relatives in 33 (10.3%). A total of 42 separate words/phrases were identified relating to diagnosis; cancer was recorded in 60 (19.6%). Collusion was three times as common in the patients over 65 years (17.9 vs 5.7%, P=0.001). There was a reduction in the number of diagnostic words recorded in the patients over 65 years (90.3 vs 98.3%, P=0.002) and by type of surgeon (P=0.001). Information was often poorly recorded in the notes. We have shown that the quality of information varies according to patient age, surgeon and specialty.
DOI Link: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6600816
ISSN: 0007-0920
eISSN: 1532-1827
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2003, Cancer Research UK. This article is now available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution- Non Commercial-ShareAlike Licence ( ).
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, College of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Psychology

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