Communication Between Black Patients With Cancer and Their Oncology Clinicians: Exploring Factors That Influence Outcome Disparities

Elizabeth Guimond

Berhan Getachew

Timiya S. Nolan

Karen Miles Sheffield-Abdullah

Jamie L. Conklin

Rachel Hirschey
cancer, oncology, African American, Black, patient education, health communication
ONF 2022, 49(6), 509-524. DOI: 10.1188/22.ONF.509-524

Problem Identification: Significant cancer disparities exist between Black and White patients. One important contributor to patient outcomes disparities is patient–clinician communication. Conversations between clinicians and Black patients are often shorter and less detailed compared to White patients.

Literature Search: A systematic literature search was conducted. Databases were searched to identify studies that included (a) participants with a cancer diagnosis, (b) information specific to Black or African American participants, and (c) information on patient–clinician communication. A total of 67 articles underwent full review; 24 studies met inclusion criteria.

Data Evaluation: Each included study was scored for level of evidence, and common themes were identified across studies using the Matrix Method.

Synthesis: The following themes were identified: relationship building, building trust, empowering patients for shared decision-making, addressing topics of patient concern, and consideration of community and family.

Implications for Research: Results identify several ways that nurses can improve communication with Black patients. Research aimed at identifying interpersonal strategies to mitigate cancer disparities is needed.

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