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Cancer and communication: similarities and differences of men with cancer from six different ethnic groups

Authors

  • I. PAPADOPOULOS phd, ma (ed), ba, dipn ed, dipn, ndn cert, rn, rm ,

    Corresponding author
    1. Professor for Transcultural Health and Nursing and Head of Research Centre for Transcultural Studies in Health, Middlesex University, UK
      Irena Papadopoulos, Research Centre for Transcultural Studies in Health, Middlesex University, 10 Highgate Hill, London N19 3UA, UK (e-mail: r.papadopoulos@mdx.ac.uk).
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  • S. LEES mres, bsc, rn

    research fellow
    1. Research Centre for Transcultural Studies in Health, Middlesex University, UK
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Irena Papadopoulos, Research Centre for Transcultural Studies in Health, Middlesex University, 10 Highgate Hill, London N19 3UA, UK (e-mail: r.papadopoulos@mdx.ac.uk).

Abstract

This paper reports the communication aspects of a pilot study, which explored the cancer meanings and experiences of six men with cancer and their significant others from different ethnic groups. A case study design was applied using the principles of phenomenology. In-depth semi-structured individual interviews were conducted in participants’ own homes, in London, UK. This paper will only deal with the communication aspects of the findings.

Ten themes emerged from the comparative analysis of the study's data, with communication as a cross-cutting theme. Further analysis of this theme revealed similarities and differences of the participants’ experiences of communicating with health professionals; families or friends; and God/Allah. In addition, similarities and differences in communicating meanings of cancer in different cultures were revealed. The findings revealed similarities in the way that men from these six cultures communicate with health professionals and their families following a diagnosis of cancer, and differences in how they communicated with God/Allah, which depended on their religious beliefs and practices.

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