Journal of Cancer Education

, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 811–812

“Everybody Knows Everybody Else’s Business”—Privacy in Rural Communities

  • Janni Leung
  • Annetta Smith
  • Iain Atherton
  • Deirdre McLaughlin

DOI: 10.1007/s13187-015-0862-8

Cite this article as:
Leung, J., Smith, A., Atherton, I. et al. J Canc Educ (2016) 31: 811. doi:10.1007/s13187-015-0862-8


Patients have a right to privacy in a health care setting. This involves conversational discretion, security of medical records and physical privacy of remaining unnoticed or unidentified when using health care services other than by those who need to know or whom the patient wishes to know. However, the privacy of cancer patients who live in rural areas is more difficult to protect due to the characteristics of rural communities. The purpose of this article is to reflect on concerns relating to the lack of privacy experienced by cancer patients and health care professionals in the rural health care setting. In addition, this article suggests future research directions to provide much needed evidence for educating health care providers and guiding health care policies that can lead to better protection of privacy among cancer patients living in rural communities.


Privacy Rural health services Rural nursing Rural population Neoplasms Quality of health care 

Copyright information

© American Association for Cancer Education 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Policy and Epidemiology GroupQueensland Centre for Mental Health ResearchWacolAustralia
  2. 2.School of Public HealthThe University of QueenslandHerstonAustralia
  3. 3.School of Nursing, Midwifery and HealthUniversity of StirlingHighland and Western IslesUnited Kingdom
  4. 4.School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social CareEdinburgh Napier UniversityEdinburghUnited Kingdom

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