Psychosocial consequences of diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer and evaluation of the need for a lung cancer specific instrument using focus group methodology
SourceSupportive Care in Cancer, 26, 12, (2018), pp. 4177-4185
Article / Letter to editor
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Supportive Care in Cancer
SubjectRadboudumc 18: Healthcare improvement science RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
OBJECTIVES: Patients with lung cancer (LC) have high rates of psychosocial symptoms and international guidelines recommend regular psychosocial screening during treatment. This study evaluates psychosocial consequences of diagnosis and treatment of LC in a qualitative way and evaluates the need for a LC specific screening instrument. METHODS: Focus group meetings with LC patients were divided by treatment type. Patients discussed psychological and social consequences of diagnosis and treatment. Major themes were identified using content analysis. Themes were re-evaluated in a subsequent focus group, in accordance with the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) guidelines. RESULTS: Patients reported a range of psychosocial consequences, such as frustration due to physical limitations, fear of recurrence, sadness of leaving behind partner and children, and disappointing social support. Patients treated with palliative intent specifically indicated insecurities about the future. Patients from all treatment modalities indicated a need for family support during treatment. No themes specific to LC arose. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with LC are coping with a range of psychosocial consequences, independent of the type of treatment they receive. Fear of recurrence/metastasis and insecurity about the future were more prominent in patients receiving palliative chemotherapy. Themes were not specific to LC; therefore, a screening instrument specific for the LC population does not seem required. However, the current standard for screening is considered insufficiently sensitive and a stepped screening approach with specific screening tools and a clinical interview is suggested as usual care.
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