Title

Psychosocial impact of cancer on adult patients

Document Type

Article

Department

Radiation Oncology

Abstract

Objectives: To explore the effects of cancer on psychosocial aspects of Pakistani patients and their families, assessing the need for interventions to improve their quality of life.Methods: A prospective, Cross-sectional study was performed on 200 patients visiting the oncology outpatient facility of AKUH from December 2010 to May 2011 through an interview. Responses were recorded on pre-designed questionnaires including FACT-G QOL (Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General Quality Of Life) component.Results: Out of the 200 patients 52 (26%) were males and 148 (74%) were females. Mean age was 51.8 +/- 14.2 years. Breast cancer accounted for the commonest cancer in females 116 (58%) and lung in males 30 (15%), 100 (50%) patients were currently undergoing chemotherapy. In all 148 (74%) patients were well aware of their diagnosis and were able to cope better and 142 (71%) were well supported by families (majority being financially stable). Major financial impact was found in 42 (21%) cases. Religious/spiritual help was sought by 138 (69%) patients predominantly females- 113 (76%) and 22 (11%) patients consulted a psychiatrist; 20 (94%) subjects of this group felt this intervention was helpful. Responses regarding effect on the patient's sexual life were poor and 126 (63%) denied answering the question.CONCLUSION: In our study one third of cancer patients were found to be depressed mainly affecting those who were receiving multimodality treatment or facing financial issues. Religious help was the main coping strategy for them.

Publication

Journal of Pakistan Medical Association

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