Breast Cancer Patients' Preferences When Receiving Bad News: A Qualitative Study from a Middle Eastern Country

Somayyeh BorjAlilu (1), Mojgan Karbakhsh (2), Kamelia Davoodzadeh (3), Maryam Tak (4), Nazila Amani (5), Ahmad Kaviani (6)
(1) Virtual School, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran, Iran, Islamic Republic of,
(2) Department of Community and Preventive Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran, Iran, Islamic Republic of,
(3) Virtual School, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran, Iran, Islamic Republic of,
(4) Virtual School, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran, Iran, Islamic Republic of,
(5) Department of Psychology, Alzahra University, Tehran, Iran, Iran, Islamic Republic of,
(6) Department of Surgery, Tehran University Medical Sciences (TUMS), Tehran, Iran AND Kaviani Breast Disease Institute(KBDI), Tehran, Iran , Iran, Islamic Republic of


Background: Telling bad news to the patients after a diagnosis of breast cancer is one of the most important duties of a physician. The aim of this study was to explore breast cancer patient's preferences regarding how to receive bad news.
Methods: A group of 15 women with breast cancer were purposively recruited to this qualitative study. Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted to identify the patients' preferences through content analysis.
Results: The age of participants ranged between 28 and 58 years. Nine patients had undergone mastectomy and the remaining 6 had received conservative surgery. The minimum time between the diagnosis and receiving the news of cancer was 1 month, the maximum 15. Altogether, 250 codes were extracted after content analysis and categorized into 7 categories and 43 subcategories. The main categories were the method of disclosure of bad news, medical information, communication skills, emotional support, family involvement, the setting, psycho-spiritual care, and the word “cancer.”
Conclusion: Knowing about patients' preferences regarding the methods of breast cancer diagnosis disclosure can help physicians to effectively deliver bad news. Therefore, it is necessary that the clinicians be informed about the themes that the patients consider important while delivering bad news to patients.

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Somayyeh BorjAlilu
Mojgan Karbakhsh (Primary Contact)
Kamelia Davoodzadeh
Maryam Tak
Nazila Amani
Ahmad Kaviani
BorjAlilu S, Karbakhsh M, Davoodzadeh K, Tak M, Amani N, Kaviani A. Breast Cancer Patients’ Preferences When Receiving Bad News: A Qualitative Study from a Middle Eastern Country. Arch Breast Cancer [Internet]. 2019 Aug. 31 [cited 2024 Jun. 19];:124-30. Available from:

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