A narrative inquiry of older adults' stories of choosing to not share information with health care professionals




Brennan, Shelagh Marie

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This study used narrative inquiry to answer the question “What are the stories of older adults who choose not to share information with health care professionals?” The study explored the experiences of older adults who did not share information with health care professionals (HCPs), who they defined as doctors. A thematic analysis of five participants’ stories revealed three themes: Illusions of Care, describing the participants’ experiences with doctors before they chose not to share information; The Last Straw, revealing the final incident that caused participants to choose not to share information; and The Mask of the Non-sharing Older Adult, describing how participants interacted with their doctors after they decided not to share information. Relationship development between older adults and their doctors, sensitive topics, issues and perceptions of ageing, and structure of the health care system contribute to the complex issue of older adults not sharing information. The decision not to share information with health care professionals may adversely affect the health and health care of older adults.



qualitative, narrative inquiry, thematic analysis, older adults, seniors, geriatrics, gerontology, elderly, stories, experiences, first person stories, life experiences, not sharing, lying, non-compliance, noncompliance, non-adherence, non adherence, non truth telling, truth telling, withholding, withholding information, details, symptoms, illness, health, alternative medicine, health care professionals, health care providers, doctors, physicians, nurses, psychology, relationships, therapeutic relationships