A study of the experience of cachexia in patients with cancer and their significant others.

Joanne Reid, Hugh McKenna, Donna Fitzsimons, Tanya McCance

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review

1 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background:
Cancer cachexia has received scant research
attention (Molassiotis, 2003). It is reported to
occur in up to 80% of patients with advanced
cancer (Gordon et al, 2005), and is associated with
poor quality if life, reduced performance status and
shorter survival periods (Argiles et al, 2005). At
present there is a dearth of evidence into its nature,
impact on patients and effects on their families.

Aim:
The aim of this study is to explore the lived
experience of cachexia in patients with cancer
and their significant others. Method. Cancer
cachexia has been defined within this study as:
the involuntary weight loss of more than 10%
of pre-morbid body weight within the last six
months resulting from tumour induced metabolic
alterations. A purposive sample of 15 patients /
12 significant others has been recruited from a
large teaching hospital in Northern Ireland. Each
participant has been interviewed once, using
an unstructured interview about their / their
significant other’s experience of cancer cachexia.
All interviews have been digitally recorded and
transcribed verbatim for the purposes of analysis.
Data analysis using an interpretative phenomenological
approach is currently underway. All ethical
requirements for this study were met prior to the
study commencing.

Results:
Preliminary results of the twenty-seven completed
interviews generated important themes, which
reflect the holistic dimensions of the experience
of cancer cachexia. These will be explained in turn
with quotations to support the relevance of each
theme.

Discussion and Conclusions:
Despite the plethora of studies conducted into the
medical management of cancer cachexia, very little
work has been undertaken to increase understanding
into its impact on patients and their families.
This study has the potential to contribute to the
present knowledge base that exists in relation
to cancer cachexia, thus providing evidence to
improve service delivery for this client group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages157-157
Publication statusPublished - 2006
EventThe 2006 Royal College of Nursing International Nursing Research Conference - York Racecourse, York, United Kingdom
Duration: 21 Mar 200624 Mar 2006

Conference

ConferenceThe 2006 Royal College of Nursing International Nursing Research Conference
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityYork
Period21/03/200624/03/2006

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A study of the experience of cachexia in patients with cancer and their significant others.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this