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concept analysis, decision making, neoplasm, symptom disclosure



  1. Sun, Yiyuan DNSc, RN
  2. Knobf, M. Tish PhD, RN, FAAN, AOCN


Although symptoms suggestive of cancer are the most common reason that people seek healthcare, the process undertaken to disclose the symptoms is unclear. The purpose of this article is to critically analyze the concept of symptom disclosure in the context of cancer. Rodgers' evolutionary approach was applied to analyze the concept of symptom disclosure. Concept analysis indicates that symptom disclosure is a decision-making process in which a person chooses to tell significant others and a healthcare provider about self-identified symptoms. Characteristics of the concept include symptom interpretation, weighing the risks and benefits of disclosure, and taking action. Influencing factors are knowledge, cancer risk perception, personal or family history of cancer, socioeconomic and cultural factors, and access to care. The concept analysis of symptom disclosure provides guidance for developing strategies to promote healthcare-seeking behavior in practice and suggest areas for future research.