Understanding Aspects of Patients' Experience of Recurrence Important

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Physicians have the ability to stimulate a positive patient experience of care and lessen the psychosocial impact that recurrence has on patients through providing information in an understandable manner and continuing to be sensitive to the patients’ changing needs, according to an article published online in the journal Psycho-Oncology.

The authors conducted a systematic search of qualitative studies (a total of 17 relevant papers were identified) published from January 1994 to April 2014.

Results showed patients’ experiences were characterized into six third-order concepts. The first was experiencing emotional turmoil following diagnosis. This category described the emotional impact the diagnosis had on the patients and how previous experiences influenced how the patient received the news.

The second characterization was experiencing otherness, which considered changed relationships.

The third was seeking support in the health care system, which detailed the extent of information needs and the importance of the patient-health care provider relationship.

The fourth was adjusting to a new prognosis and uncertain future—emphasizing the changes that accompany uncertainty.

The fifth was finding strategies to deal with recurrence. This concept outlined ways to maintain emotional well-being and ways for patients to regain a sense of control over their cancer.

Lastly, the sixth concept was facing mortality, which specified the difficulties patients have facing death-related concerns and their associated consequences.

The study’s analysis explains patients’ experience of recurrence in terms of the fundamental aspects of their experience and supports the importance of health care professionals assisting patients in adopting strategies to regain a sense of control and to address the possibility of mortality.

Tumor size and estrogen-receptor status contribute greatly to survival improvement in women 70 years
Physicians have the ability to stimulate a positive patient experience of care and lessen the psychosocial impact that recurrence has.
Physicians have the ability to stimulate a positive patient experience of care and lessen the psychosocial impact that recurrence has on patients through providing information in an understandable manner and continuing to be sensitive to the patients' changing needs.
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