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African Health Sciences
Makerere University Medical School
ISSN: 1680-6905
EISSN: 1680-6905
Vol. 16, No. 3, 2016, pp. 744-749
Bioline Code: hs16094
Full paper language: English
Document type: Study
Document available free of charge

African Health Sciences, Vol. 16, No. 3, 2016, pp. 744-749

 en 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 treatment.
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 analysed thematically.
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 chemotherapy.

Cancer; chemotherapy; experiences; nursing; qualitative

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