Indian Journal of Palliative Care
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 ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 25  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 436--439

Challenges faced by patients undergoing radiotherapy for oral cancer: A qualitative study


Department of Public Health Dentistry, Faculty of Dental Sciences, M. S. Ramaiah University of Applied Sciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Suvi Kanchan
Faculty of Dental Sciences, M. S. Ramaiah University of Applied Sciences, Bengaluru - 560 054, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/IJPC.IJPC_40_19

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Background: Oral cancer is one of the most common types of cancers in India. Radiotherapy is one of the treatment options frequently resulting in complications. These complications affect the patient's quality of life, nutritional intake, and consequently undermine the treatment outcomes. Patients' verbal accounts of experiences regarding their overall oral health during radiotherapy have not been described sufficiently. Aim: The aim of the current study was to identify and analyze the issues experienced by patients while undergoing radiotherapy for oral cancer treatment. Materials and Methods: A phenomenology study design was chosen, with in-depth interviews as the selected strategy for data collection. A literature search was conducted based on which an interview guide in English was prepared and modified according to inputs from subject matter experts. The interview guide comprised nine questions, including opening, key, and closing questions, and was also translated into Telugu and Kannada – the two languages predominantly spoken by the patients visiting the hospital. Interviews were conducted with each patient separately, with each interview lasting for 60 min each. The interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, coded, and categorized, following which themes were derived from the analysis. Results: The key theme that emerged from the study was the “Multifaceted experience of patients undergoing radiotherapy.” Conclusion: Understanding the specific issues faced by oral cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy drew our attention to the dire need for interprofessional collaboration, which could enable health professionals to share their expertise and perspectives toward achieving the common goal of restoring patients' health and improving health outcomes.






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