Chemotherapy treatment: Colorectal cancer patients’ perception

Sonia Betzabeth Ticona-Benavente, Ana Lucia Siqueira Costa


Background and objective: The chemotherapy cause greater impact in the physical and emotional sphere and in the experience of the symptoms. Thus, knowing the perception of these patients, is necessary to obtain subsidies that may direct the implementation of effective interventions for the management of adverse events and the support offering regarding the experience of the disease and treatment, with better impact on the quality of life. The objective of this study was to explore the perception of colorectal cancer patients regarding the chemotherapy treatment.

Methods: It is a qualitative study, with content analysis based in Bardin. The sample was composed by 100 patients under chemotherapy treatment for colorectal cancer, who were enrolled in A.C. Camargo Cancer Center, São Paulo, Brazil. The data were collected using an interview about the perception of patients concerning chemotherapy. The interviews were audio recorded. For the analysis, we followed three steps: transcription, codification, and answers categorization.

Results: The perceptions of the patients regarding chemotherapy were grouped into four categories: “negative experience”, “necessary for disease control”, “healing treatment” and “positive experience”. The most cited was the negative experience, then, they referred worsening in the emotional level, since they reported sadness, loss of will to perform daily activities, side effects of drugs (hair loss, nausea, diarrhea), and other factors, as well as auxiliary activities necessary to receive treatment.

Conclusions: For patients with colorectal cancer, the chemotherapy treatment causes negative experiences that could contribute for abandoning the treatment. However, they refer to be more strengthened and that they have developed the capability of learning through a painful experience as the chemotherapy. Nurses are responsible for valuing the patient's perception in order to make that his/her experience of illness and treatment possible to be reversed in a positive way, so they can have a better quality of life.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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