A Qualitative Study of the Experiences During Radiotherapy of Swedish Patients Suffering From Lung Cancer
Purpose/Objectives: To describe experiences during radiotherapy of patients suffering from lung cancer.
Design: Inductive, qualitative.
Setting: A radiotherapy department in the south of Sweden.
Sample: 15 patients with lung cancer undergoing their second week of radiotherapy.
Methodologic Approach: Interviews were conducted in a hospital setting, transcribed, and content analyzed.
Main Research Variables: Experiences during radiotherapy.
Findings: The patients' experiences fall into four categories: fatigue, physical distress, managing disease- and treatment-related issues, and obstacles to managing. Fatigue was a major experience expressed in terms of low energy levels and low fitness, sometimes leading to social isolation.
Conclusions: Nurses need to implement interventions to minimize side effects of radiotherapy and maximize patients' abilities to manage the disease and the treatment.
Interpretation: Informing and educating patients about pretreatment and assessing fatigue as well as implementing interventions (e.g., nurse-patient interaction, support, information, encouragement, focus on the patients' own resources) may lead to improved comprehensive care during radiation therapy.