Communicating good care: A qualitative study of what people with urological cancer value in interactions with health care providers

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Communication with health care providers is important to help meet cancer patients' information and support needs. It can significantly affect the extent to which patients feel cared for, respected and involved, and it can influence a range of cancer care processes and outcomes. This paper presents findings from a study which explored urological cancer patients' experiences of care, focussing on insights into what they appeared to value in their interactions with health care providers and why.

In-depth interviews were undertaken with 20 men and 6 women with different types of urological cancer at a range of times since diagnosis. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and thematically analysed using an established interpretive approach.

Patients valued being treated as someone who mattered and was worthy of care; being recognised and responded to as an individual; and experiencing support for autonomy/agency. Reasons for their valuations related to the implications of communicative interactions for the ways patients thought health professionals related to them ‘as persons’. Our findings highlight the value of relational aspects of communication for: indicating to patients what clinicians think of their worth; facilitating individualised care; and enabling patients to contribute to their own care.

Efforts to improve health care provider-patient communication should attend not only to the transfer of information about the condition and its management but to the range of features of interactions that can signal to people how health care providers relate to them as persons.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-40
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Oncology Nursing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • cancer
  • communication
  • patient/person centred care


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