Facilitating disclosure of complementary therapy use via effective communication — ASN Events

Facilitating disclosure of complementary therapy use via effective communication (#611)

McLaughlan M Laura 1 , Vikki E Knott 1
  1. University of Canberra, Bruce, ACT, Australia

Effective communication between health professional and patient regarding Complementary Therapy (CT) use in oncology is essential. However, there is an absence of research addressing the way in which health professionals facilitate patient disclosure of CT use. This study aimed to examine the methods health professionals implement to initiate and/or facilitate CT discourse with patients. Thirteen health professionals, previously or currently working in oncology, were recruited using opportunistic sampling and snowballing until data saturation was reached (Grbich, 1999). Participants were aged between 29 and 58 years and had varying levels of experience working in the oncology setting.  Data were transcribed and analysed using Braun and Clark's (2006) six staged method of thematic analysis.  The analysis revealed that  health professionals used various communication strategies and models as ways to facilitate CT discourse with patients. Key factors such as attitudes, subjective norms and education in CTs were linked with facilitation of CT discourse. The results are summarized within three major themes including “facilitators of disclosure”, “barriers impeding disclosure”, and “integrative issues”. Overall, the study identifies particular communicative methods that facilitate CT disclosure with patients, as well as the potential barriers that impede this process. Recommendations proposed focus on the development and implementation of a “facilitating CT disclosure” education model that aims to generate awareness around ways to achieve effective communication with patients in the area of CT use and non-disclosure. Future research would aim to assess the efficacy of the model to improve the facilitation of discourse around CT use during oncology consultations.

  1. Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3, 77-101. doi: 10.1191/1478088706qp063oa
  2. Gribich, C. (1999). Qualitative research in health: An introduction. Australia, SA: Sage Publications.