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Patient involvement in comprehensive, complex cancer surgery: Perspectives of patients, relatives and health professionals

Henriette Vind Thaysen, Kirsten Lomborg, Lene Seibaek
European Journal of Cancer Care 2019 May 3, : e13071
We investigated the perspectives of patients, relatives and health professionals on the drivers and barriers to patient involvement (PI) in the treatment of peritoneal carcinomatosis with cytoreductive surgery (CRS) and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC). During 2016-2017, individual and focus group interviews were conducted with purposively selected participants during CRS and HIPEC, supplemented by field observations. This material was analysed using meaning condensation (Kvale). Fifteen patients, eight relatives and nine health professionals participated in 31 individual and two focus group interviews, supplemented by 37 observations. The findings were structured into themes concerning treatment decisions, organisation of pathways, knowledge of the patient and life during treatment. Deciding to treat was determined not only by preoperative biomedical information, personal preferences but also findings during surgery. This circumstance put the patients under mental pressure and affected their ability to process the offered information. They furthermore perceived the pathway as complex and occasionally unclear, leading them to attempt to coordinate transitions themselves. The study has highlighted barriers to, rather than drivers of, PI. To promote PI during comprehensive complex cancer surgery, we suggest that patients and relatives are offered patient-centred care, such as support in posing questions, overview of their treatment pathway and coherent transitions.


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