Indian Journal of Palliative Care
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 ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 25  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 242--249

A qualitative study to assess collusion and psychological distress in cancer patients


1 Department of Psychiatry, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Palliative Medicine, Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Roshan Sutar
76/11, 6th Cross, 6th Main, Official Quarters, Bairasandra, Jayangar 1st Block, Bengaluru - 560 011, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/IJPC.IJPC_146_18

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Introduction: Collusion is frequently encountered but least studied entity in palliative care services in India. Impact of collusion is manifold and identifying it requires good communication skills. Once identified, it gives an indication for existing healthy versus developing unhealthy collusion to be dealt within families. Objective: The objective of this study was to identify the prevalence of collusion and its clinical and psychological correlates among patients and caregivers in a palliative cancer care. Materials and Methods: We describe systematic identification and unraveling of collusion across multiple levels in a palliative cancer care eventually drafting an algorithm to unravel the collusion. Patients and families were recruited from in-patient palliative care services after obtaining written informed consent. Qualitative interviews were conducted using collusion questionnaire, EQ5D, Visual Analog Scale, and NIMHANS psychiatric morbidity screen. Results: Among 62 cancer families interviewed, we identified that 71% collusion exists between doctor and patient, 61.3% between doctor and caregiver, and 75.83% between patient and caregiver. Around 50% collusions were unraveled systematically. Collusion was more prevalent in patients with rapid progression of illness (<6 months), patients with poor coping skills, and preference of being interviewed alone. Conclusion: This statistics suggests that collusion goes unnoticed in terminal illnesses and communication skills play a major role in identifying and dealing with collusion. This also unearths need to formulate interview techniques and structured assessment tools or questionnaire in palliative cancer care which are sparse.






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