Speice J, Harkness J, Laneri H, Frankel R, Roter D, Kornblith AB, Ahles T, Winer E, Fleishman S, Luber P, Zevon M, McQuellon R, Trief P, Finkel J, Spira J, Greenberg D, Rowland J, and Holland JC
Psycho-Oncology [Psychooncology] 2000 Mar-Apr; Vol. 9 (2), pp. 101-12.
Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Attitude of Health Personnel, Caregivers psychology, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Neoplasms therapy, Sick Role, Adaptation, Psychological, Family psychology, Focus Groups, Neoplasms psychology, and Patient Care Team
Family members are an integral part of a patient's cancer care from the moment the diagnosis is delivered to the conclusion of treatment. Family members bring with them a range of emotional reactions, interpersonal dynamics and expectations for the care the patient receives. This study is part of a multi-institutional project to continue to improve the process of cancer care. In this study, 19 focus groups (11 patient and 8 provider) were conducted concerning issues related to doctor-patient communication in eight cancer centers in the United States. The content of the conversations was analyzed and thematic categories emerged that highlight the various strengths and difficulties associated with family involvement. The focus groups' comments support the need for explicit conversations between professional caregivers, patients and their loved ones, in order to negotiate the expectations and needs of each team member. Implications for clinical practice and strategies for working with family members are offered. (Copyright 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.)