skip to page content
Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Patients' reflections on communication in the second-opinion hematology-oncology consultation.

Goldman RE, Sullivan A, Back AL, Alexander SC, Matsuyama RK, Lee SJ. Patients' reflections on communication in the second-opinion hematology-oncology consultation. Patient education and counseling. 2009 Jul 1; 76(1):44-50.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


OBJECTIVE: The nature of communication between patients and their second-opinion hematology consultants may be very different in these one-time consultations than for those that are within long-term relationships. This study explored patients'' perceptions of their second-opinion hematology-oncology consultation to investigate physician-patient communication in malignant disease at a critical juncture in cancer patients'' care and decision-making. METHODS: In-depth telephone interviews with a subset of 20 patients from a larger study, following their subspecialty hematology consultations. RESULTS: Most patients wanted to contribute to the consultation agenda, but were unable to do so. Patients sought expert and honest advice delivered with empathy, though most did not expect the consultant to directly address their emotions. They wanted the physician to apply his/her knowledge to the specifics of their individual cases, and were disappointed and distrustful when physicians cited only general prognostic statistics. In contrast, physicians'' consideration of the unique elements of patients'' cases, and demonstrations of empathy and respect made patients'' feel positively about the encounter, regardless of the prognosis. CONCLUSIONS: Patients provided concrete recommendations for physician and patient behaviors to enhance the consultation. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Consideration of these recommendations may result in more effective communication and increased patient satisfaction with medical visits.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.