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Breaking Bad News: Preferences of Cancer Patients in Saudi Arabia | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2165-7386

Journal of Palliative Care & Medicine
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Research Article

Breaking Bad News: Preferences of Cancer Patients in Saudi Arabia

Syed Mustafa Karim1*, Jamal M Zekri1,5, Sawsan Bassi2, Baker bin Sadiq2, Ehab M Abdelghany3, Hossam Abdelrahman1 and Elshami Elamin4

1Consultant Medical Oncologists King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, MBC J-64, PO Box 40047, Jeddah 21499, Saudi Arabia

2Research Center King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, MBC J-64, PO Box 40047, Jeddah 21499, Saudi Arabia

3National Cancer Institute, Cairo University, Egypt

4Central Care Cancer Center, 730 Medical Center, Dr. Newton, KS 67114, USA

5Faculty of Medicine, Al-Faisal University, Saudi Arabia

*Corresponding Author:
Syed Mustafa Karim
Consultant Medical Oncology
King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center
MBC-J64, PO Box 40047, Jeddah 21499, Saudi Arabia
Tel: +966-2-6677777
Fax: 64030
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: December 30, 2014; Accepted date: February 16, 2015; Published date: February 28, 2015

Citation: Karim SM, Zekri JM, Bassi S, Sadiq B, Abdelghany EM, et al. (2015) Breaking Bad News: Preferences of Cancer Patients in Saudi Arabia. J Palliat Care Med 5:207. doi: 10.4172/2165-7386.1000207

Copyright: © 2015 Karim SM, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Background: It is believed in some Middle Eastern (ME) cultures that disclosure of bad news to cancer patients may cause loss of hope. This is often used to justify withholding such news. In this study, we examine cancer patients ‘preference regarding breaking bad news and disease information disclosure to them. Patients and Methods: Nine close ended questions addressing patient’s disclosure preference and one question addressing timing of disclosure to the family were designed in a questionnaire format and were answered by cancer patients in an outpatient setting. Affirmative “Yes” answer indicates preference to be informed of bad news. Results: One hundred patients were recruited and answered the questions. 87% of patients preferred to be informed of their cancer diagnosis. There was no statistically significant effect of age, gender, education level, professional status, diagnosis and stage of disease on this preference. 98% wanted to know of serious news about their health. 60% of patients answered “Yes” to 8 or 9 questions. Age ≥ 50 compared to <50 years was the only factor significantly associated with likelihood of affirmative response to 8 or 9 questions (Chi2 P=0.027). Conclusions: Our study indicates that most cancer patients in Saudi Arabia prefer to know the diagnosis of cancer and any related poor outcomes, and to be involved in decision making throughout the course of their illness. This is in congruence with results of other studies from other parts of the world. Given this accumulating body of evidence, healthcare provider should, whenever possible, keep the patients involved in the decision making process throughout the cancer journey.


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