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Arch Hellen Med, 34(2), March-April 2017, 151-164


Methods of providing information to patients with cancer and securing their informed consent

D. Alamanou, N. Fotos, H. Brokalaki -Pananoudaki
Faculty of Nursing, School of Health Sciences, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece

The information needs of various different groups of patients have been explored over the past few years. The information needs of patients and the methods of providing that information vary according to the study and the country, but are clearly affected by a variety of demographic and cultural factors. Worldwide, patient information and the informed consent of cancer patients are protected by clear regulations. In Greece, the need for provision of information to patients is underestimated, and one of the most important reasons for this is the shortage of healthcare professionals equipped to inform patients effectively. This is a review of the effective methods for providing the essential information to patients with cancer, and the barriers often associated with information procedures, with emphasis on the importance of the training of the health care professionals in informing patients and in obtaining their informed consent for treatment. One of the methods of patient information which has proved to be effective, convenient and understandable is the "SPIKES"-step protocol, which guides health care professionals in how to effectively communicate bad news, to satisfy patients' questions and requests, and finally to help them choose the treatment plan that meets their individual needs, securing informed consent for the procedures.

Key words: Information needs, Informed consent, Legislation, Means of information, Oncology, Patients with cancer.

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