Doctors' Communication of Trust in Recurrent Cancer
Irons, Alexis S.
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Previous studies have shown the biggest component in doctor-patient communication is trust (Thorn & Campbell, 1997). The purpose of this study was to show how trust is the main component for doctor-patient communication in recurrent cancer. This study also set out to determine how women with recurrent cancer want their doctors to communicate trust to them. 36 female patients were interviewed either in focus groups or one-on-one interviews. Patients were asked a variety of questions about their communications with medical providers. The results showed the importance of trust and the three main components that facilitated it: effective treatment, creating a network of support, and respectful communication. These results could provide behavioral techniques needed to improve doctor skills training. These results also suggest that there is a need to shift from the idea of partnership in shared decision making to a more personal framework structured around this communication of trust. Testing and elaborating of this analysis will help to focus communication research and teaching on the behavioral techniques necessary to communicate trust.