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Interpretation of Support for Cancer Patients under Chemotherapy: A Qualitative Research

Author(s): Z. Vanaki | Z. Parsa Yekta | A. Kazemnejad | A. R. Heydarnia

Journal: Iranian Journal of Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology
ISSN 1735-4315

Volume: 9;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 53;
Date: 2003;
Original page

Keywords: Support | chemotherapy | cancer patients | nurses | physicians | qualitative research

  Abstract   Objectives: Evaluating the meaning of support from the perspectives of cancer patients under chemotherapy, their families, nurses, and the oncologists, their concepts of “being support- ed” and “providing support” was assessed.  Method: Data was collected through qualitative method and semistructured interviews of 10 patients and their families, and eight nurses and physicians with oncology specializetion. They described their experience of “perceived support” and “received support” analytic- cally. The interviews were tape recoded the participants’ statements were analyzed using the procedures and techniques of ground theory.   Findings: The findings showed that “support” is multidimensional and a vital need it must continuously be available to service recipients. The patients and their families were aware of lack of support by the health treatment service providers. From the perspective of the ser- vice recipients, mental support was deemed to have the highest priority. Nurses and physi- cians considered physical support with the highest priority and all the clinical intervene-tions equal to that of “support”. Nonetheless in comparison with the concept of “caring”, support is very deeper and more extensive.  Result: Support, a process of social interaction is initially established through empathic connection leading to generation of a network of safety for the service recipients. Once a specific meaning of illness and its treatment is structurally formed for the patient, necessa- ry abilities in physical, psychological, and social arenas may be attained. Iranian cancer patients and their families complain about lack of support and safety network by their phy- sicians and nurses. This demands indispensable attention, reconsideration, and a new retrain- ing alongside these lines.

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