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Ways of talking about illness and prognosis in palliative cancer care consultations-two interactional frames
University of Gothenburg.
University of Gothenburg.
Linköping University, Department of Medicine and Health Sciences, Health and Society. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3033-9879
University of Gothenburg.
2010 (English)In: SUPPORTIVE CARE IN CANCER, ISSN 0941-4355, Vol. 18, no 4, 399-408 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The purpose of the study was to describe how interaction about changes in illness and prognosis was shaped by participants in outpatient palliative cancer care consultations. The data collection involved six video-recorded consultations at an outpatient oncology unit at a university hospital in Sweden. The interactions were studied by means of discourse analysis. Inclusion criteria for the patients were gastro-intestinal cancer and receiving palliative care. The sample included three men and three women, aged 54-70, with various metastasised gastro-intestinal tumours. Significant others (SOs) were included where patients brought one to the consultation. Three male consultants aged 55-59 participated. In palliative care consultations, the person-to-person and the patient-professional conversation frames were found to be in use as patients, SOs and physicians talked about the patients illness and prognosis. Within the patient-professional frame, three interactional patterns were found: the patient emphasising emotional experiences of illness or well-being and the physicians responding by toning down strategies, patients asking direct questions and getting straight answers and finally interaction marked by cautiousness and avoidances. Within the person-person frame, the interactions were described as: playful talk, collegial talk and existential talk. When patients shared their personal interpretations of illness and prognosis, their narrative was more enhanced by the person-to-person frame than the patient-professional frame. Finding out if and how patients and SOs want to express their worries and finding a balance between the interactional patterns that occur are ethical challenges which health professionals must face. Since patients and SOs may restrain their emotional experiences, investigating grounded ways of overcoming these difficulties is imperative.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 18, no 4, 399-408 p.
Keyword [en]
Communication, Palliative cancer care, Outpatient consultations, Interaction
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-54495DOI: 10.1007/s00520-009-0673-8ISI: 000275126000001OAI: diva2:304607
Available from: 2010-03-19 Created: 2010-03-19 Last updated: 2013-09-04

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Hydén, Lars-Christer
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