Breaking Bad News in a Southeast European Population: A Survey among Cancer Patients in Albania

Arben Beqiri*, Ervin Toci, Agim Sallaku, Gentiana Qirjako, Genc Burazeri

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Objective: The purpose of this study was to explore the attitudes of cancer patients, their family, and community members in Albania, a post-communist country in Southeast Europe, regarding breaking bad news. Methods: One hundred and fifty consecutive cancer patients, 150 respective relatives, and an age-sex-residence matched sample of 150 individuals in Tirana district were interviewed from September 2009-January 2010 about attitudes related to diagnosis disclosure. Logistic regression was used to assess the association of diagnosis disclosure with demographic characteristics. Results: Community members were the most in favor, whereas the patients' relatives were the least in favor of diagnosis disclosure. Most of the patients, who were aware of their diagnosis, were not satisfied with the disclosure approach employed by the medical staff. The odds of favoring diagnosis disclosure were significantly higher among younger, male, urban, and more educated patients. Conclusion: This survey identified important characteristics of cancer patients, their relatives, and a community-based sample in Albania that could predict the willingness to disclose a fatal diagnosis. Establishment of a formal training of health professionals regarding breaking bad news should be considered in order to ensure a proper approach of communicating diagnosis to cancer patients in transitional Albania.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1100-1105
JournalJournal of Palliative Medicine
Volume15
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012

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