English summary: ONCOLOGISTS' EXPERIENCES OF TELLING PATIENTS BAD NEWS
How to tell patients bad news has seldom been a subject of study in Finland. We were able to find only one study on this subject. The aim of the present study was to examine oncologists' views about telling patients bad news and the truth, their coping strategies, and their ideas of patients' wishes.
Nine oncologists working at Turku University Central Hospital were interviewed using a half-structured interview. The interviews were analyzed by means of content analysis.
The oncologists considered information about cancer diagnosis, about the progression of disease, and about transition from active treatment to palliative treatment bad news. In principle, they always have to tell patients the truth but they felt uncomfortable telling bad news. Factors associated with better coping were high professional expertise and experience, familiarity with the patient's illness, sufficient time, and collegial support.
The interviewed oncologists had true concern for their patients and the patients' feelings. Lack of time was experienced as a handicap.