Purpose: Using Confucian philosophy as a conceptual framework, this article examines the extent to which cultural values and language affect the participation preferences and experiences of the breast cancer treatment decision-making (TDM) process among Chinese women with breast cancer in Australia.
Methods: Three focus groups were conducted with 23 Chinese-Australian women diagnosed with breast cancer in their native language (Mandarin and Cantonese). Each interview was translated and transcribed. Content analysis was used to uncover the major themes.
Findings: Four typologies emerged: the patient as an active decision maker, the patient as a passive decision maker, the patient as a reluctant decision maker and the patient as a reluctant passive decision maker. Language barriers, cultural expectation of doctor’s role and family role in Chinese culture appear as influential factors in TDM process among this group of women.
Conclusions: Intervention to improve doctors’ cultural sensitivities in order to help them assess women’s role preferences in TDM and the ability of doctors to communicate in a culturally appropriate manner, may improve the process of breast cancer TDM among women from Chinese background.