Diagnosis disclosure in patients with serious diseases

Deldar Morad Abdulah, Mahir Sadullah Saeed, Ary Habeeb Mohammed


Background: One of the most complicated ethical issues facing clinicians is whether they should disclose the diagnostic or prognostic information to patients. In this regard, the clinicians’ attitudes toward telling the truth about their patients’ health conditions and predictors of non-disclosing information were examined in this cross-sectional study.

Methods: A purposive sample of clinicians (n = 98) with different educational levels and medical specialties was invited to this survey from different tertiary care hospitals in Iraqi Kurdistan. The research items of attitudes were drawn from the literature.

Results: The majority of the clinicians (65.3%) reported that breaking bad news is not an easy task. More than half of them (56.1%) preferred to tell the truth to the family rather than patients. The clinicians agreed to not disclose the information to the patients owing to cultural beliefs (27.5%), physiological impacts (37.7%), and non-cooperation of the patients in the therapeutic plan (28.6%). More than half of them (60.2%) mentioned that information disclosure might not necessarily be desired or helpful for patients at a specific time. Patients’ non-cooperation in treatment was determined to be a sole predictor for not-disclosing information about serious diseases.

Conclusions: The study suggests that breaking bad news is not an easy task. We confirmed that medical information is not disclosed to the patients by a considerable number of clinicians in this region. Non-cooperation of the patients in the therapeutic plan was the predictor that clinicians do not disclose the information.

Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/ijh.v6n1p28


  • There are currently no refbacks.

International Journal of Healthcare  ISSN 2377-7338(Print)  ISSN 2377-7346(Online)

Copyright © Sciedu Press

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the 'sciedu.ca' and ‘sciedupress.com’ domains to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', please check your 'spam' or 'junk' folder.