Background: Communication between cancer patients and healthcare providers plays a vital role in providing a better quality of life for cancer patients. However, it remains a debatable issue in society.
Objectives: This study aimed to determine the quality of communication (QOC) between cancer patients and doctors and its associated factors.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was performed on a total of 600 cancer patients in the oncology clinic admitted to the oncology ward. A 19-item QOC questionnaire was administered on patients, along with measuring how patients rate the quality of this communication about end-of-life care to improve communication between doctors and their patients.
Results: The cancer patients rated their doctors highly at “Including your loved ones in decisions about your illness and treatment”, “Caring about you as a person”, and “Answering all your questions”. The areas that cancer patients rated relatively low included “Most doctors do not discuss how long the cancer patients might live” and “What dying might be like”. The mean score for the overall doctor’s QOC was obtained at 8.23±0.74. This indicated that the level of doctor communication was close to very good communication. The following factors contributed remarkably on the scores of QOC with doctors: being 71 years old and above, holding secondary school qualifications, being diploma/degree holder, working for the government, private sector, factory, or estate, and being self-employed, being diagnosed with cancer for more than 1 year, lacking monthly income, and not staying with family.
Conclusion The results of the study showed that socio-demographic factors of cancer patients, including age, education level, employment status, working sector, illness duration, and income, could affect communication, most of the time, negatively. This issue should be taken seriously for the improvement of the care of cancer patients.
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