This study describes the communication style preferences of Japanese patients when receiving bad news, examines the factor structure of the measure for patients' preferences (MPP) in a Japanese population, and explores variables that may be associated with patients' communication style preferences. Five hundred twenty-nine cancer outpatients completed several psychosocial measures including the Japanese version of the MPP (MPP-J), the Mental Adjustment to Cancer Scale (MAC), and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). The patients desired detailed information and a supportive environment when receiving bad news. The MPP-J demonstrated a 5-factor structure: support, facilitation, medical information, clear explanation, and encouraging question-asking. Regression analyses indicated that a female gender, the fighting spirit and anxious preoccupation dimensions of the MAC were positively associated with all 5 MPP-J factors. In conclusion, Japanese cancer patients' preferences for communication when receiving bad news differ somewhat from those of American patients. Japanese physicians should encourage patients to ask questions and should consider the demographic (e.g. gender), medical (disease status) and psychosocial characteristics (fighting spirit and anxious preoccupation) of patients when delivering bad news.
Copyright 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.