Lege Artis Medicinae

[Roma cancer patients’ illness cognition and their attitudes toward medical treatment]

ROHÁNSZKY Magda1,2, NÓTÁR Ilona3, SZABÓNÉ Kármán Judit4,5,6,7, KONKOLY THEGE Barna8,2

APRIL 20, 2012

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2012;22(04)

[INTRODUCTION - In this qualitative pilot study, our goal was to investigate the illness representation of gipsy cancer patients and to examine their attitudes toward medical treatment. SAMPLE AND METHODS - Deep interviews were made with 20 persons (60% female; Mage=39.2±15.1 years). The included participants approximately represented the group composition of the Hungarian Roma population. RESULTS - For most of our respondents, cancer is a frightening disease meaning some kind of punishment and the end of life. The potential causes of the disease usually remain completely incomprehensible. The participants proved to be very under-informed in relation to their treatment - even when compared to the low level of information among Hungarian cancer patients in general. In the face of the supporting presence of family members, our respondents often stated that there was nobody to share their deeper emotional problems with. About half of the patients reported on impolite and inefficient treatment attributed to prejudice against their Gipsy identity. However, deeper analyses revealed, that in most of these cases, mistreatment was a consequence of the general shortcomings of the health care system (e.g. lack of time) - being labelled as discrimination by our respondents. Almost every participant sees his/her only role in recovery merely in the participation in medical treatment - not attributing enough significance to life style changes and even less to alternative / complementary medicine. CONCLUSION - Special training to improve communication skills with gipsy patients is needed - especially for general practitioners. We also suggest preparing handouts to Roma cancer patients that provide easy-to-understand information on the medical treatments and health behaviours that serve the coping with cancer and their prevention.]

AFFILIATIONS

  1. Szent László Kórház, Onkológiai Osztály
  2. Tűzmadár Alapítvány
  3. Független Médiaközpont
  4. Semmelweis Egyetem
  5. Szegedi Tudományegyetem
  6. Pécsi Tudomány-egyetem
  7. Sapientia Szerzetesi Hittudományi Főiskola
  8. Semmelweis Egyetem, Magatartástudományi Intézet

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