PhD Defense Kim Brandes – Communicating without worry by cancer patients

Published on January 16 2017 – Previous research has shown that when cancer patients discuss their concerns with their healthcare provider, these patients have decreased feelings of anxiety and depression among cancer patients. However, most patients find it difficult to express their concerns during consultations. Kim Brandes investigated what prevents and what encourages cancer patients to express their concerns during consultations. She will defend her PhD thesis on January 19th 2017.

Supervised by Julia van Weert (ACHC Director), Edith Smit (ACHC board) and Annemiek Linn (ACHC member), the studies in the PhD thesis of Kim Brandes reveal that patients have both emotional and social reasons to not express their concerns during consultations. In addition, patients report various barriers towards expressing these concerns, including the idea that time during consultations is limited and that their healthcare provider may respond to those concerns with insufficient empathy. The findings from this PhD research provide not only theoretical knowledge on concern expression in cancer patients, but also practical guidelines for nurses and medical doctors on how to optimize communication in oncology settings.

More information on the PhD thesis can be found