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Understanding care when cure is not likely for young adults who face cancer: a realist analysis of data from patients, families and healthcare professionals

Kenten, C; Ngwenya, N; Gibson, F; Flatley, M; Jones, L; Pearce, S; Wong, G; ... Whelan, J; + view all (2019) Understanding care when cure is not likely for young adults who face cancer: a realist analysis of data from patients, families and healthcare professionals. BMJ Open , 9 (1) , Article e024397. 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-024397. Green open access

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To understand the experiences of young adults with cancer for whom cure is not likely, in particular what may be specific for people aged 16-40 years and how this might affect care. DESIGN: We used data from multiple sources (semi-structured interviews with people with cancer, nominated family members and healthcare professionals, and workshops) informed by a preliminary programme theory: realist analysis of data within these themes enabled revision of our theory. A realist logic of analysis explored contexts and mechanisms affecting outcomes of care. SETTING: Three cancer centres and associated palliative care services across England. PARTICIPANTS: We aimed for a purposive sample of 45 people with cancer from two groups: those aged 16-24 years for whom there may be specialist cancer centres and those 16-40 years cared for through general adult services; each could nominate for interview one family member and one healthcare professional. We interviewed three people aged 16-24 years and 30 people 25-40 years diagnosed with cancer (carcinomas; blood cancers; sarcoma; central nervous system tumours) with a clinician-estimated prognosis of <12 months along with nominated family carers and healthcare professionals. 19 bereaved family members and 47 healthcare professionals participated in workshops. RESULTS: Data were available from 69 interviews (33 people with cancer, 14 family carers, 22 healthcare professionals) and six workshops. Qualitative analysis revealed seven key themes: loss of control; maintenance of normal life; continuity of care; support for professionals; support for families; importance of language chosen by professionals; and financial concerns. CONCLUSIONS: Current care towards end of life for young adults with cancer and their families does not meet needs and expectations. We identified challenges specific to those aged 16-40 years. The burden that care delivery imposes on healthcare professionals must be recognised. These findings can inform recommendations for measures to be incorporated into services.

Type: Article
Title: Understanding care when cure is not likely for young adults who face cancer: a realist analysis of data from patients, families and healthcare professionals
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-024397
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2018-024397
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2019. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ. This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.
Keywords: adult palliative care, paediatric palliative care, qualitative research
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Cancer Institute
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Cancer Institute > Research Department of Haematology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Cancer Institute > Research Department of Oncology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10064279
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