Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Confidence in communicating with patients with cancer mediates the relationship between rehabilitation therapists’ autistic-like traits and perceived difficulty in communication

  • Chinatsu Hayashibara (a1), Masatoshi Inagaki (a2), Maiko Fujimori (a3) (a4), Yuji Higuchi (a5), Masaki Fujiwara (a1), Seishi Terada (a1), Hitoshi Okamura (a6), Yosuke Uchitomi (a7) and Norihito Yamada (a1)...

Abstract

Objective

Recently, rehabilitation therapists have become involved in cancer rehabilitation; however, no communication skills training that increases the ability to provide emotional support for cancer patients has been developed for rehabilitation therapists. In addition, no study has examined associations between rehabilitation therapists’ communication skills and their level of autistic-like traits (ALT), which are in-born characteristics including specific communication styles and difficulty communicating with patients. In this study, we aimed to investigate whether confidence in communicating with patients mitigates communication difficulties experienced by rehabilitation therapists who have high levels of ALT.

Method

Rehabilitation therapists who treat patients with cancer completed self-administered postal questionnaires anonymously. Scores were obtained on the Autism-Spectrum Quotient short form, confidence in communication, and communication difficulties. We used covariance structure analyses to test hypothetical models, and confirmed that confidence in communication mediates the relationship between ALT and perceived communication difficulties.

Results

Participants included 1,343 respondents (49.6%). Autism-Spectrum Quotient scores were positively correlated with communication difficulties (r = 0.16, p < 0.001). The correlation was mitigated by confidence in communication in the fit model. However, higher confidence in creating a supportive atmosphere was associated with more difficulty in communication (r = 0.16, p < 0.001).

Significance of results

Communication difficulty was linked to rehabilitation therapists’ ALTs. By increasing confidence in areas of communication other than creation of a supportive atmosphere, ALT-related difficulties in communication may be ameliorated. Confidence to create supportive environments correlated positively with difficulty. Communication skills training to increase confidence in communication for rehabilitation therapists should be developed with vigilance regarding ALT levels.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Masatoshi Inagaki, Department of Neuropsychiatry, Okayama University Hospital, 2-5-1 Shikata-cho, Kita-ku, Okayama 700-8558, Japan. E-mail: masatoshiinagaki@okayama-u.ac.jp.

References

Hide All
Akizuki, N, Shimizu, K, Asai, M, et al. (2016) Prevalence and predictive factors of depression and anxiety in patients with pancreatic cancer: A longitudinal study. Japan Journal of Clinical Oncology 46(1), 7177.
American Psychiatric Association (2013) DSM-5: Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, 5th ed. Washington, DC: APA.
Bandura, A (1977) Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychological Review 84(2), 191215.
Baron-Cohen, S, Wheelwright, S, Skinner, R, et al. (2001) The autism-spectrum quotient (AQ): Evidence from Asperger syndrome/high-functioning autism, males and females, scientists and mathematicians. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 31(1), 517.
Fujimori, M, Akechi, T, and Uchitomi, Y (2017) Factors associated with patient preferences for communication of bad news. Palliative & Supportive Care 15(3):328335.
Fujimori, M, Shirai, Y, Asai, M, et al. (2014a) Development and preliminary evaluation of communication skills training program for oncologists based on patient preferences for communicating bad news. Palliative & Supportive Care 12(5), 379386.
Fujimori, M, Shirai, Y, Asai, M, et al. (2014b) Effect of communication skills training program for oncologists based on patient preferences for communication when receiving bad news: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Clinical Oncology 32(20), 21662172.
Fukunishi, I (1990) Nihongoban General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) no cut-off point (The assessment of cut-off point of the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) in the Japanese version). Shinri Rinsho 3(3), 228234.
Higuchi, Y, Inagaki, M, Koyama, T, et al. (2016) A cross-sectional study of psychological distress, burnout, and the associated risk factors in hospital pharmacists in Japan. BMC Public Health 16, 534.
Higuchi, Y, Uchitomi, Y, Fujimori, M, et al. (2015) Exploring autistic-like traits relating to empathic attitude and psychological distress in hospital pharmacists. International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy 37(6), 12581266.
Hunt, MA, Takacs, J, Hart, K, et al. (2014) Comparison of mirror, raw video, and real-time visual biofeedback for training toe-out gait in individuals with knee osteoarthritis. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 95(10), 19121917.
Karitsky, AP, Chulkova, VA, Pestereva, E, et al. (2015) [Rehabilitation of cancer patients as a basis for improving the quality of life.] Voprosy Onkologii 61(2), 180184.
Kawamura, Y, Takahashi, O, and Ishii, T (2008) Reevaluating the incidence of pervasive developmental disorders: Impact of elevated rates of detection through implementation of an integrated system of screening in Toyota, Japan. Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences 62(2), 152159.
Kerr, J, Engel, J, Schlesinger-Raab, A, et al. (2003) Communication, quality of life and age: Results of a 5-year prospective study in breast cancer patients. Annals of Oncology 14(3), 421427.
Kim, YJ, Cho, MJ, Park, S, et al. (2013) The 12-item general health questionnaire as an effective mental health screening tool for general Korean adult population. Psychiatry Investigation 10(4), 352358.
Kuenssberg, R, Murray, AL, Booth, T, et al. (2014) Structural validation of the abridged autism spectrum quotient-short form in a clinical sample of people with autism spectrum disorders. Autism 18(2), 6975.
Lundstrom, S, Chang, Z, Rastam, M, et al. (2012) Autism spectrum disorders and autistic like traits: Similar etiology in the extreme end and the normal variation. Archives of General Psychiatry 69(1), 4652.
Moor, PM, Rivera Mercado, S, Grez Artigues, M, et al. (2013) Communication skills training for healthcare professionals working with people who have cancer. Cochrane Database System Review (3), CD003751.
Murray, AL, Booth, T, McKenzie, K, et al. (2014) Are autistic traits measured equivalently in individuals with and without an autism spectrum disorder? An invariance analysis of the Autism Spectrum Quotient Short Form. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 44(1), 5564.
Okamura, H (2011) Importance of rehabilitation in cancer treatment and palliative medicine. Japan Journal of Clinical Oncology 41(6), 733738.
Pranjic, N, Bajraktarevic, A, and Ramic, E (2016) Distress and PTSD in patients with cancer: Cohort study case. Materia Socio-medica 28(1), 1216.
Razavi, D, Delvaux, N, Marchal, S, et al. (2002) Does training increase the use of more emotionally laden words by nurses when talking with cancer patients? A randomised study. British Journal of Cancer 87(1), 17.
Tang, WR, Chen, KY, Hsu, SH, et al. (2014) Effectiveness of Japanese SHARE model in improving Taiwanese healthcare personnel's preference for cancer truth telling. Psychooncology 23(3), 259265.
Wakabayashi, A, Tojo, Y, Baron-Cohen, S, et al. (2004) [The Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ) Japanese version: evidence from high-functioning clinical group and normal adults]. Shinrigaku Kenkyu 75(1), 7884.
Willems, RA, Bolman, CA, Mesters, I, et al. (2017) Short-term effectiveness of a web-based tailored intervention for cancer survivors on quality of life, anxiety, depression, and fatigue: Randomized controlled trial. Psychooncology 26(2), 222230.
World Health Organization (1992) The ICD-10 classification of mental and behavioral disorders: Clinical descriptions and diagnostic guideline. Geneva: WHO.

Keywords

Confidence in communicating with patients with cancer mediates the relationship between rehabilitation therapists’ autistic-like traits and perceived difficulty in communication

  • Chinatsu Hayashibara (a1), Masatoshi Inagaki (a2), Maiko Fujimori (a3) (a4), Yuji Higuchi (a5), Masaki Fujiwara (a1), Seishi Terada (a1), Hitoshi Okamura (a6), Yosuke Uchitomi (a7) and Norihito Yamada (a1)...

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed