cancer patients, delivering bad news, physician-patient communication


Effective physician-patient communication is primary to successful medical consultation and encourages a collaborative interactional process between patient and doctor. Collaborative communication, rather than one-way authoritarian, physician-led medical interview, is significant in navigating difficult circumstances such as delivering "bad news" to patients diagnosed with cancer. Additionally, the potential psychological effects of breaking bad news in an abrupt and insensitive manner can be devastating and long-lasting for both the patient and his or her family. The topic of delivering unfavorable news to patients is an issue that many medical professionals find to be challenging and is now getting the attention of medical professionals in many countries, including the former Soviet Union (FSU) republics. The limited literature on communication skills in oncology in the FSU republics supports that the physician-patient communication style is perceived as significantly physician-oriented rather than patient-oriented. More specifically, the Soviet medical education system, as well as post-graduate medical education, has placed little to no emphasis on physician-patient communication training. Physician-oriented communication leads to patients being less forthcoming and open regarding their own feelings about being diagnosed with cancer, which may exacerbate the overall communication problem. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of the training program "Delivering Unfavorable News to Patients Diagnosed with Cancer" (Baile et al., 2000) conducted in Uzbekistan, one of the FSU republics. A total of 50 oncologists from the National Oncology Center of Uzbekistan (N = 50, n = 25 , n = 25 ) completed Self-Efficacy, Interpersonal skills (FIRO-B), Empathy (JSPE), and Physician Belief (PBS), and demographic instruments before, immediately after, and then two weeks after the training intervention. Results of MANOVA and bivariate statistical analyses revealed significant differences in self-efficacy, empathy, and PBS scores within the experimental group, but not within the control group, from pre-test to post-test. The follow-up data analysis suggested that participants maintained the level of change that occurred immediately after the training intervention.


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Graduation Date



Robinson, Edward H. (Mike)


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Education


Child, Family, and Community Sciences

Degree Program









Release Date

June 2008

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)

Included in

Education Commons