Exploring the information flow: partners of women with breast cancer, patients, and healthcare professionals.

C. E. Rees, P. A. Bath

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PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES: To explore the information flow between partners of women with breast cancer and patients and between partners and healthcare professionals (HCPs). DESIGN: Descriptive. SETTING: Community-based. SAMPLE: 109 partners of women with breast cancer. METHODS: Subjects completed a 30-item, self-administered questionnaire that was designed to identify the informational flow between them and their information providers. Subjects also completed the Miller Behavioral Style Scale to determine the informational coping styles of individuals under threat. MAIN RESEARCH VARIABLE: Informational flow between partners and patients and partners and HCPs. FINDINGS: The majority of partners received information from patients and were satisfied with the amount of time they spent discussing breast cancer topics. Few partners thought that patients avoided giving them information. A significant association existed between the informational coping styles of partners and the communication flow between partners and patients. The majority of partners sought information from other sources. In addition, the majority of partners accompanied patients to their medical consultations and received information from HCPs. The communication flow among partners, patients, and HCPs largely depended on the amount of communication desired by the woman with breast cancer. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides new evidence on the information flow and communication patterns between partners and patients and between partners and HCPs. IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING PRACTICE: Partners may have informational needs that are not met by patients. Therefore, nurses need to provide them with information to help satisfy their needs. In addition, nurses can help satisfy the informational needs of partners by encouraging good two-way communication and informational exchange between partners and patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1267-1275
Number of pages9
JournalOncology Nursing Forum
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2000
Externally publishedYes

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