Experiences of patients undergoing chemotherapy - a qualitative study of adults attending Uganda Cancer Institute|
Wampaalu,Peter B.; Eriksson,Lars E.; Naamala,Allen; Nabirye,Rose C. & Wettergren,Lena
Background: Cancer is a global public health challenge and how patients in countries with poor healthcare infrastructure experience
cancer treatment is largely unknown.
Purpose: The objective of this study was to describe adult Ugandan cancer patients’ experiences of undergoing chemotherapy
Methodology: Using a qualitative descriptive design, seven in-patients with varying cancer diagnoses at the Uganda Cancer
Institute were interviewed about their experiences of undergoing chemotherapy treatment; the interviews were transcribed and
Results: The analysis resulted in nine subthemes, which were categorized under three main themes: ‘experiences related to the
body’, with the subthemes dry and sensitive skin, changes in eating and bowel habits, fever and feelings of abnormal body sensation;
‘thoughts and feelings’, with four subthemes reflecting the psychosocial impact of chemotherapy; and ‘actively dealing with
discomfort’, with three subthemes describing how patients dealt with side effects, such as by sticking to a diet.
Conclusion: Receiving chemotherapy treatment is difficult, and the side effects negatively influenced patients’ bodies and
moods. Dealing actively with discomfort and accepting negative impacts in hope of a cure helped the participants manage
the acute complications related to the treatment. We recommend the development of interventions to ease discomfort due to
Cancer; chemotherapy; experiences; nursing; qualitative