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Why do patients delay reporting neutropenic sepsis?

Delays in the treatment of chemotherapy-associated neutropenic sepsis (NS) are associated with significant morbidity and mortality – approximately 700 people die each year in the UK due to such sepsis. But what are the factors that contribute to patients delaying reporting of their NS symptoms?

A doctoral researcher from London investigated the rationale for the deferment and delay in reporting symptoms associated with this experience. Enhanced communication between professional staff and patients, and their carers could, the author suggests, lead to improved outcomes.

Using a constructivist grounded theory method, this longitudinal qualitative study incorporated 31 interviews with women with breast cancer, their carers and clinicians, and 13 hours of observations of clinical consultations, from a UK cancer centre over the period November 2011 and February 2013.

All of the patients

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