Fighting cancer is half the battle... living life is the other half|
Pahwa Manasi, Babu Nandita, Bhatnagar Sushma
PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to explore the psychological and social problems the terminally ill are facing in India. Another objective of this study was to explore the Locus of Control and Depression.
AIMS: The study was conducted on an incidentally available sample of fifteen terminally ill patients at the Pain Clinic, I.R.C.H., AIIMS, ranging from young adults (30-35 years), to middle aged (40-50 years), to the elderly (55-65 years).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A thematic and narrative analysis was done using semi-structured interview. After the semi-structured interview, two standardized inventories were administered. The two inventories used were Multidimensional Health Locus of Control, and Beck′s Depression Inventory. The statements from the two inventories were translated into Hindi and then asked. The inventories were not given as a questionnaire to be filled; rather they were asked orally and marked by the investigator.
RESULTS: The co-relation between Internal Health Locus of Control and Depression was found to be significant below the 0.05 level. Statistics also revealed that a large number of participants were either severely depressed (33.33%) or extremely depressed (20%). The seven common themes running through all the narratives were identified; Concern for physical pain; Anxiety and Depression; Body-image problems; Social withdrawal; Disease viewed as bad ′karma′; Desire for hastened death; and lastly Hope.
CONCLUSION: This article would create greater awareness among all the concerned people working with cancer patients on what intervention strategies should be utilized to help the patients, as well as, how the belief in karma can help gain a more positivistic outlook towards death and the core role spirituality and the belief in karma can play in the counseling of the patients and their families.
body image, depression, anxiety, terminal illness