Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper - Campus Access Only

Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

Communication Studies

Other Degree Name/Area of Focus

Health Communication

Department or School/College

Department of Communication Studies

Committee Chair

Dr. Heather L. Voorhees

Commitee Members

Dr. Gregory Larson Dr. Annie Sondag


Oncology, health communication, patient satisfaction, patient-provider communication, expectancy violations theory, communication satisfaction


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Health Communication


While the cancer experience has been studied extensively by scholars, one aspect that is lacking in the literature is examining the effect of informational expectations on overall patient satisfaction. Patient informational expectations may impact how patients view their providers, and ultimately their overall treatment experience. To understand informational communication violations between patients and healthcare providers, the author used expectancy violations theory (Burgoon, 1993) to frame a mixed-methods online survey (N = 23). Results indicated that overall satisfaction with treatment is highly correlated with communication satisfaction. Information-sharing is a crucial aspect of overall patient satisfaction as well, however, patients want providers to share more information about treatment details rather than side effect information. Patients experience violations when providers lack adequate communication strategies. These violations can either cause the patients to seek out information by themselves, or they may blame themselves for the miscommunication. Based on the results of this study, practical applications for patients and providers are suggested, such as new communication strategies for providers and advice for how patients can come prepared to discuss certain topics in their appointments. Limitations and future research suggestions are also discussed.

This record is only available
to users affiliated with
the University of Montana.

Request Access



© Copyright 2022 Elizabeth Margaret Sholey