Truth-telling and cancer diagnoses: Physician attitudes and practices in Qatar
Attitude of Health Personnel
Practice Patterns, Physicians'
There is limited information regarding physicians' attitudes toward revealing cancer diagnoses to patients in the Arab world. Using a questionnaire informed by a seminal study carried out by Oken in 1961, our research sought to determine present-day disclosure practices in Qatar, identify physician sociodemographic variables associated with truth-telling, and outline trends related to future practice. A sample of 131 physicians was polled. Although nearly 90% of doctors said they would inform cancer patients of their diagnosis, ∼66% of respondents stated that they made exceptions to their policy, depending on patient characteristics. These data suggest that clinical practices are somewhat discordant on professed beliefs about the ethical propriety of disclosure.