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Psychosocial impact of human papillomavirus‐related head and neck cancer on patients and their partners: A qualitative interview study

Dodd, RH; Forster, AS; Marlow, LAV; Waller, J; (2019) Psychosocial impact of human papillomavirus‐related head and neck cancer on patients and their partners: A qualitative interview study. European Journal of Cancer Care 10.1111/ecc.12999. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Increasing numbers of patients face the psychosocial challenge of a diagnosis of oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). We explored the psychosocial impact of an HPV‐OSCC diagnosis for patients and their partners. METHODS: In‐depth interviews were conducted with patients (n = 20) and a subset of their partners (n = 12), identified through medical records at two UK hospitals. Interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using thematic Framework Analysis. RESULTS: Only 12/20 patients interviewed (and five partners) were aware of their HPV status and the main analysis focused on this sub‐sample. In discussing the cause of their cancer, patients and their partners talked about not wanting to know; whether they disclosed the cause of their cancer to others; their reactions to being diagnosed with HPV; the prognosis information they were given and the questions they had about HPV. Most concerns were cancer‐related rather than HPV‐related, but some patients (n = 3) described feelings of embarrassment and perceived stigma about HPV. CONCLUSION: Some patients and partners who are told HPV is the cause of their OSCC have questions about HPV and seek further information. Concerns and uncertainties about the sexually transmitted nature of HPV need to be addressed by health professionals.

Type: Article
Title: Psychosocial impact of human papillomavirus‐related head and neck cancer on patients and their partners: A qualitative interview study
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/ecc.12999
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/ecc.12999
Language: English
Additional information: © 2019 The Authors. European Journal of Cancer Care Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
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 Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Behavioural Science and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10067052
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