The association between the strength of the working alliance and sharing concerns by advanced cancer patients: a pilot study

The association between the strength of the working alliance and sharing concerns by advanced cancer patients: a pilot study

By: Bar-Sela G., Yochpaz S., Gruber R., Lulav-Grinwald D., Mitnik I., Koren D.
Published in: Supportive Care in Cancer
SDGs : SDG 03  |  Units: Social Sciences  | Time: 2016 |  Link
Description: Objectives: A strong therapeutic alliance between cancer patients and medical staff is associated with treatment adheren ce, better health outcomes, and an emotional acceptance of a terminal illness. Given its significant role, the current study investigated the association between the working alliance and sharing concerns by advanced cancer patients. Methods: Advanced cancer patients completed the Working Alliance Inventory-Short Revised and a checklist of topics in which they rated their degree of concern about the topics and the degree of sharing them with their physician/nurse. Results: Fifty-two patients completed the study. The working alliance was found to be strong with respect to treating physicians and nurses. The four topics that concerned patients the most were family coping with their illness (81 %), fear of future suffering (71 %), symptom control (67 %), and the oncological treatment (65 %). Patients with a strong working alliance with their physician shared to a higher extent the personal and main concern regarding their family’s coping, and a significant correlation was found between them (r = 0.53, p <.01). In addition, sharing fears of future suffering was also correlated with a strong working alliance with the physician (r = 0.28, p <.05). A strong working alliance with the nurse was correlated with discussing symptoms control (r = 0.30, p <.05). Conclusion: These findings provide preliminary support for an association between the strength of the working alliance and the type of concerns that advanced cancer patients choose to discuss with their medical staff and highlight the importance of follow-up studies to further explore this association. © 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

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