Indian Cancer Patients’ Needs, Perceptions of, and Expectations from their Support Network: a Qualitative Study

Chawak, Shweta and Chittem, Mahati and Butow, Phyllis and et al, . (2019) Indian Cancer Patients’ Needs, Perceptions of, and Expectations from their Support Network: a Qualitative Study. Journal of Cancer Education. ISSN 0885-8195

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Psycho-oncology research in India reveals that family caregivers and oncologists are primary medical decision-makers frequently acting on behalf of the patient. Thus, patients are rarely asked about their wants and needs. This study aimed to understand Indian cancer patients’ needs and expectations from their support network. Twenty-six cancer patients participated in semi-structured interviews exploring patients’ needs, perceptions of their support network and the type of support they would prefer, and their experiences of receiving this support. The interviews were analyzed using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis. Emergent themes included: (i) role of the oncologist: being the primary medical decision-maker, communicating in a style consistent with patient preferences; (ii) role of the immediate family: being emotionally available, helping with navigating the hospital system, aiding in medical adherence; (iii) role of relatives and friends: giving advice and providing tangible aid and services; and (iv) role of other cancer patients: helping with coping with the illness. The study highlights Indian patients’ ability to define their supportive network and assign specific roles to them. The study implies the need to develop communication training programs and peer-to-peer support groups to address patients’ unmet communication needs and aid in coping.

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IITH Creators:
IITH CreatorsORCiD
Chittem, MahatiUNSPECIFIED
Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Indian cancer patients,Primary and secondary caregivers,Psycho-oncology,Qualitative,Support network,Indexed in Scopus
Subjects: Arts > Liberal arts
Divisions: Department of Liberal Arts
Depositing User: Library Staff
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2019 09:03
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2019 09:03
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