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Type: Journal article
Title: The impact of receiving treatment for cancer at a large metropolitan teaching hospital as recorded by patients using unstructured journals
Author: Olver, I.
Eliott, J.
Long, L.
McKinnon, M.
Rumsby, G.
Citation: Journal of Cancer Education, 2012; 27(4):625-630
Publisher: Hanley & Belfus Inc
Issue Date: 2012
ISSN: 0885-8195
Statement of
Ian N. Over, Jaklin A. Eliott, Leslye Long, Michele McKinnon and Graham Rumsby
Abstract: The aim was to obtain patients' experiences of the cancer treatment pathway at a tertiary teaching hospital using unstructured journals to enable health care professionals to be educated on how to improve patient care. Most of 38 patients (22 females and 16 males), average age of 58 (range 29–80), who returned diaries were starting chemotherapy for a range of cancers. Data entries were transcribed and entered into the NVIVO software to facilitate thematic analysis. Women wrote more, and more often than men, and disclosed more. For most, physical side effects dominated, comprising 25–75 % of diary entries. The most commonly mentioned were fatigue (74 %), pain (63 %), sleep disturbances (50 %), nausea (45 %) and changes in appetite (45 %). Collectively, 22 patients reported 261 separate emotional reactions including depression, anger, guilt, shame, grief, panic and confusion. The treatment environment, including personnel, impacted upon patients. Where survival is unpredictable, evidence of consistency of practitioners' approaches attains heightened significance.
Keywords: Cancer; education; patient journey; unstructured journal; side effects; physical; psychological; communication
Rights: © Springer, Part of Springer Science+Business Media
RMID: 0020122425
DOI: 10.1007/s13187-012-0415-3
Appears in Collections:Medicine publications

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