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Table 1 Descriptive data

From: Italian onco-haematological patients’ preferences in bad news communication: a preliminary investigation

ITEMS Socio-demographic characteristics Number of patients and %
1 Gender  
 Male 104 (27.15%)
 Female 279 (72.85%)
2 Age 45,32 years (range 18–83 years)
 18–30 74 (19.32%)
 31–40 72 (18.80%)
 41–50 80 (20.89%)
 51–60 106 (27.68%)
 > 60 51 (13.32%)
3 Level of education  
 Junior high school 73 (19.06%)
 Senior high school 209 (54.57%)
 Graduate / Doctorate 101 (26.37%)
4 Your disease has been diagnosed  
 more than a year ago 310 (80.94%)
 less than a year ago 32 (8.36%)
 less than six month ago 32 (8.36%)
 missing 9 (2.35%)
5 First diagnosis communicated by  
 Doctor ward 221 (57.70%)
 Department head 82 (21.41%)
 Family doctor 26 (6.79%)
 Relative 20 (5.22%)
 Another physician 16 (4.18%)
 Doctor undergoing specialized training 15 (3.92%)
 Other healthcare worker 3 (0.78%)
6 The truth about diagnosis must be told  
 always and in full 192 (50.13%)
 always, but in a personalised way 191 (49.87%)
7 The truth about prognosis must be told  
 always, but in a personalised way 206 (53.79%)
 always and in full 174 (45.43%)
 never 3 (0.78%)
8 During the first encounter with the doctor you were  
 accompanied by one or more people 294 (76.76%)
 alone 89 (23.24%)
9 During the subsequent communication encounter with the doctor you were  
 accompanied by one or more people 288 (75.20%)
 alone 95 (24.80%)
10 Lying to the patient is  
 not legitimate 321 (83.81%)
 legitimate 62 (16.19%)
11 The doctor who omits a part of the truth to avoid pain to the patient  
 lies 248 (64.75%)
 does not lie 135 (35.25%)
12 During your illness, you have preferred  
 to know the truth always 355 (92.69)
 not to know the truth always 28 (7.31%)
13 If you chose “to know always the truth” as the answer to the previous question, indicate the reason  
 in order to organize my life and that of my relatives 64 (18%)
 because, by character, I am convinced that the truth makes free 28 (8%)
 because knowing the true allow me to better face illness 263 (74%)
14 If you chose “not to know always the truth” as the answer to the previous question, indicate the reason  
 because, by character, I prefer not to know 2 (6%)
 because during the illness I felt more fragile 9 (31%)
 because not knowing the true allow me to better face illness 17 (63%)
15 How much the way to communicate used by the doctor who diagnosed the disease did affect your way of dealing with your illness?  
 1 = not at all affected 25 (6.53%)
 2 = slightly affected 19 (4.96%)
 3 = neither affected nor not-affected 66 (17.23%)
 4 = affected 122 (31.85%)
 5 = completely affected 151 (39.43%)
16 During the care pathway as a patient you have been  
 active and collaborative 299 (78.07%)
 sometimes active and collaborative and sometimes passive and non-collaborative 75 (19.58%)
 passive and non-collaborative 9 (2.35%)
17 For the physicians give bad news is  
 1 = very difficult 190 (49.61%)
 2 = difficult 88 (22.98%)
 3 = neither difficult nor easy 78 (20.37%)
 4 = easy 14 (3.66%)
 5 = very easy 13 (3.39%)
18 How much are you satisfied with the communication occurred with the doctors during your illness?  
 1 = not at all satisfied 18 (4.70%
 2 = slightly satisfied 29 (7.57%)
 3 = moderately satisfied 83 (21.67%)
 4 = satisfied 117 (30.55%)
 5 = completely satisfied 136 (35.51%)
19 If you think that something did not function in communicating with your doctor, indicate what:  
 the use of a too technical and/or too difficult to understand language 79 (20,63%)
 the use of a too simplistic language 22 (5.22%)
 the limited time spent with me during the encounters 124 (32.38%)
 the chosen place for communicating 16 (4.18%)
 the physician’s failure to comprehend the patient’s needs 75 (19.58%)
 the presence of my relatives 19 (4.96%)
 other 48 (12.53%)
20 Do you think that something should be improved in doctor-patient communication? open-ended question