Testing a mediational model of communication among medical staff and families of cancer patients

Document Type


Date of Original Version



Three structural equation models of communication between family members and medical staff were examined to understand relations among staff accessibility, inhibitory family attitudes, getting communication needs met, perceived stress, and satisfaction with communication. Compared to full and direct models, a mediational model fit best in which the independent variables family attitudinal inhibitions toward communicating with staff and accessibility to medical staff were mediated by getting communication needs met in predicting communication satisfaction and perceived stress. There was 47% explained variance in getting communication needs met, and 41% and 16% explained variance in communication satisfaction and perceived stress, respectively. Those family members who reported greater access to staff and fewer attitudinal inhibitions reported greater levels of getting communication needs met, which in turn, was associated with greater communication satisfaction and less perceived stress. These findings have important implications for health care providers and managed care and mental health professionals regarding family needs and well-being in the context of illness. Copyright © 2005, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Structural Equation Modeling