Self-concealment: Implications for stress and empathy in oncology care
Taylor & Francis
Oncology staff and patients, like all people faced with stressful situations, are confronted with the dilemma of whether to conceal or reveal the distress they are experiencing. For both staff and patients, self-concealment as a coping response increases stress and simultaneously diminishes the likelihood of helpful, empathic responses from others. This article explores these and other interactions between distress, empathy, and self-concealment in oncology work. The author concludes that oncology staff must find safe contexts and confidants for sharing their inevitable fears, self-doubts, and uncomfortable feelings and must help patients resolve the distress- disclosure dilemma that attends the cancer experience.
Larson, D. G. (1993). Self-concealment: Implications for stress and empathy in oncology care. Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, 11, 1-16.