Disclosing a cancer diagnosis to friends and family: a gendered analysis of young men's and women's experiences

Hilton, S. , Emslie, C., Hunt, K. , Chapple, A. and Ziebland, S. (2009) Disclosing a cancer diagnosis to friends and family: a gendered analysis of young men's and women's experiences. Qualitative Health Research, 19(6), pp. 744-754. (doi:10.1177/1049732309334737)

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Abstract

Little is known about how young adults disclose their cancer diagnosis to family and friends, and whether there are similarities or differences between men and women. This article compares young adults' experiences of disclosing a cancer diagnosis, drawing on narrative interviews with 37 respondents aged 18 to 34 years. Most respondents were open about their diagnosis, and there were striking similarities in the difficulties that men and women described and in their desire to protect relatives. However, men made up most of the minority of respondents who were more secretive about their diagnosis. Men also made more explicit connections between their gendered identity and disclosure; worries about being perceived differently by peers resulted in some men hiding their diagnosis and others using humor to pre-empt sympathy. These findings are discussed in the context of gender stereotypes of “expressive” women and “stoical” men.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hunt, Professor Kate and Hilton, Professor Shona and Emslie, Dr Carol
Authors: Hilton, S., Emslie, C., Hunt, K., Chapple, A., and Ziebland, S.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:Qualitative Health Research
ISSN:1049-7323

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