Our clinical nursing articles aim to inform and educate nurse practitioners and students. This is achieved through the publication of peer-reviewed, evidence-based, relevant and topical articles.
Why you should read this article • To gain an in-depth understanding of patients’ lived experiences of chemotherapy • To appreciate the importance of the psychological, emotional, social and spiritual aspects of cancer care • To explore the role of hope as a coping mechanism for patients undergoing chemotherapy Background Chemotherapy is one of the main systemic therapies for cancer, but often has significant negative effects on the physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual and social aspects of patients’ lives. Therefore, it is important for nurses to understand patients’ experiences of chemotherapy to provide effective care and management. Aim To explore Iranian patients’ lived experiences of chemotherapy. Methods Nine hospital inpatients who had undergone at least one whole course of chemotherapy participated in 14 in-depth, semi-structured interviews. Qualitative data were analysed using a phenomenological approach and themes were generated. Findings Participants described a broad range of experiences of chemotherapy. They perceived chemotherapy as altering their lives; causing physical and psychosocial suffering; bringing about uncertainty, but also hope; and representing a crucial means of fighting cancer – and, for some, a gift from God. Conclusion Being aware of the effects of chemotherapy on patients’ lives is important in planning nursing interventions. Nurses need to develop strategies that will moderate the negative effects of chemotherapy, identify patients’ support systems and potential sources of hope, and use these to assist patients in coping with the disease and its treatment.
Psychological care for people with cancer and their carers is not meeting demand
A review of evidence around potential medicinal use in treating cancer-related pain
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How healthcare professionals currently offer alternative treatment locations to patients
How the concept of hope can benefit adolescent and young adult cancer survivors
Healthcare workers’ awareness, knowledge, training and use of protection measures
Unless treated promptly hypercalcaemia of malignancy can progress quickly
How one trust identified that patients might benefit from a glycated haemoglobin blood test
This article looks at a study set out to establish the feasibility of a referral pathway
Insights into ways complementary therapists could play a useful role in new models of care
Unmet spiritual needs can lead to distress and further aggravate a diagnosis of cancer