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Experiences of Cancer Patients on their Visit to Cancer Outpatient Department: A Qualitative Study from a Regional Hospital in Mauritius

Introduction: Cancer care studies suggest that being diagnosed with cancer, the patients and their families face various hardships such as financial crisis, increased mental stress, difficulty in managing their relationships and routine lifestyle activities. Moreover, psycho-oncological studies also describe the intense distress and disbelief experienced by patients on their initial diagnosis. The role of cancer care needs to be understood as well as implemented in cancer treatment, thus further enriching the insights of the treating oncologist about their patient’s state of mind. This ultimately allows for the betterment of treatment compliance. Aim: To study the experience of cancer patients on their visit to the cancer clinic and the emotional turmoil after diagnosis and throughout treatment. Materials and Methods: A descriptive phenomenological qualitative study was designed and conducted from August to September 2019 at the Oncology Department of Victoria Hospital, Mauritius. Participation in the study was voluntary, and written consent was taken from each of the study participants. The data was collected on an in-depth one on one interview basis and was recorded, and the purposive sampling technique was used for collecting the data. Results: Out of 12 patients, the male/female ratio equated to 5:7, these patients were from the ages of 23 to 70 years and the mean age of the participants was 48.2 years. A total of 25 different codes were generated in the study, 7 main themes were established there from (Motivational factors, Psychological factors, Society, Message for others, Awareness about the disease, Economic factors and Perception towards the healthcare environment). Conclusion: The main implication that emerged from this study is the notion of the lateral views of informal caregivers, family members and medical professionals, towards the patient’s feelings and emotional reactions in respect to their experience of cancer. It has been noted that the positivity of the caregiver corresponds directly to positive outcomes in the cancer treatment whilst simultaneously decreasing the psychological ramifications of the process.

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JCDR Research & Publications Private Limited
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Journal of Clinical & Diagnostic Research
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