Health Communication: Cancer Communication and Aging (Vol 15, No 2)


L Sparks (ed)
Published by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers (2003)
ISSN:  1041-0236.  253 pages.
RRP:  US$25.00

The preface to this issue of Health Communication sets the scene well:  Cancer communication and ageing is an important area of health care that is generally under-researched.  The articles in this book encompass a variety of aspects of communication in the context of cancer and ageing, from diagnosis and treatment to palliation. In this context, the articles focus on different aspects of communication research including models of communication and change, the relationship between communication and culture, social relationships, identity, technology, and importantly, communication with healthcare professionals.

The articles in this book vary in their approach, some focus on theoretical models that have utility as explanatory frameworks, others present quantitative research into aspects of communication in the cancer/ageing context, some utilise a qualitative orientation to explore the experiential nature of cancer across the care continuum. An important theme is the effect of communication issues in cancer on the intrapersonal, social, cultural, systemic and organisational health-related outcomes.

This book contains a collection of articles that is interesting, in part, because of the diversity of perspectives. On the whole these articles are well written and presented. Overall the reader may find a useful collection of articles, which are intended to provide a resource for those interested in increasing their knowledge or pursuing research in this field.

A Pollard
Patient Support Programs
Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute
Melbourne, VIC

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