The Differences in Preference for Truth-telling of Patients With Cancer of Different Genders
Patients' personality traits, especially age, gender, and cancer stage, tend to affect doctors' truth-telling methods. However, there is a lack of studies investigating the influence of patients' gender on truth-telling, especially for Asian cultures.Objective:
The aims of this study were to qualitatively investigate the differences in preferences for truth-telling for patients with cancer of different genders and explore patients' preferences for decision making.Methods:
For this descriptive qualitative study, in-depth interviews were conducted with 20 patients with cancer (10 men and 10 women) using a semistructured interview guide. All interviews were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. Data collection and analysis occurred concurrently; content analysis developed categories and themes.Results:
Data analysis revealed 2 themes: (1) similar gender preferences for truth-telling and decision making: knowledge of their medical condition, direct and frank truthfulness, and assistance in decision making for subsequent treatment programs, and (2) preferences in truth-telling that differed by gender: women wanted family members present for confirmation of diagnosis, whereas men did not; men preferred truth-telling for only key points of their cancer, whereas women wanted detailed information; and men did not want to know their survival period, whereas women wanted this information.Conclusions:
Our study revealed similar gender preferences for truth-telling regarding knowledge and decision making; however, preferences differed for family support, scope of information, and survival time.Implications for Practice:
These findings can serve as a reference for nurses and other healthcare personnel when implementing truth-telling for patients given a diagnosis of cancer. Strategies can be targeted for specific preferences of men and women.