Diversity in cancer care: exploring social categories in encounters between healthcare professionals and breast cancer patients

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Background: The burden of breast cancer is a key challenge for women's health globally. Rehabilitation needs and strategies for living with long-term consequences of breast cancer and its treatment cannot be isolated from the social contexts of patients, including relationships with relatives and healthcare professionals. Aim: This study explores how healthcare professionals’ categorisations engage with breast cancer patients’ social identities in encounters about rehabilitation before hospital discharge. Method: We conducted a multiperspective case-based qualitative study at a Danish department of breast surgery, including participant observations and interviews with twelve patients and eight nurses. Data were analysed thematically using theories of categorisation and clinical encounters. Ethical considerations: The Danish Data Protection Agency approved the study (journal number 2012-41-0701). Results: Interactions in clinical encounters are shaped by categorisations of patients’ social identities in terms of social resources and ethnicity, and by the resource-constrained organisational context, with impact on the assessments of the patient's rehabilitation needs. Conclusions: There is a need for a greater focus on improving encounters between breast cancer patients and healthcare professionals to ensure that rehabilitation needs are accommodated for among diverse patient groups.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)1108-1117
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2018

    Research areas

  • cancer, care giving, case study research, ethnicity, inequalities in health, nurse–patient interaction, qualitative approaches, rehabilitation

ID: 188615016