Health care professionals’ experience, understanding and perception of need of advanced cancer patients with cachexia and their families: The benefits of a dedicated clinic.

David Scott, Joanne Reid, Sam Porter, Peter Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
271 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background: Cachexia has been defined as an on-going loss of skeletal muscle mass that cannot be fully reversed by conventional nutritional support. It can be found in up to 80% of patients with advanced cancer and has profound psycho-social consequences for patients and their families. There is a paucity of studies examining the role and experience of healthcare professionals in relation to cachexia and existing studies suggest that professional staff have limited understanding and do not intervene effectively.
Aim: To identify barriers and facilitators to good practice in cachexia care in order to inform future developments in service provision.
Design: An exploratory qualitative study was conducted employing semi-structured interviews with a range of healthcare professionals recruited purposefully from an Australian hospital. Interviews were conducted in private rooms within the hospital.
Setting/participants: A range of healthcare professionals responsible for cancer care were recruited from a large Australian teaching hospital.
Results: Interviews were conducted with 8 healthcare professionals responsible for delivering cancer care. Four themes were identified: formal and informal education, knowledge and understanding, truth telling in cachexia and palliative care, and, a multi-disciplinary approach. Findings show how improved knowledge and understanding across a staff body can lead to improved staff confidence and a willingness to address cancer cachexia and its consequences with patients and their families.
Conclusion: Comparison with previous studies illustrates the importance of improving knowledge and understanding about cachexia and how this can contribute to staff having the skills and experience necessary to address cachexia and provide an improved care experience for patients and carers.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
JournalBMC palliative care
Volume15
Issue number100
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 2016

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Health care professionals’ experience, understanding and perception of need of advanced cancer patients with cachexia and their families: The benefits of a dedicated clinic.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this