Priorities in Supportive Care Needs for Non-metastatic Cancer Patients Undergoing Chemotherapy in Iran: The Oncologists’ Perceptions

Shahin Salarvand, Simin Hemati, Payman Adibi, Fariba Taleghani


Background: Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy have unmet needs. Oncologists play a central role in their supportive treatment. This study aims to describe Iranian oncologists' perceptions in terms of priorities in supportive care needs for nonmetastatic cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Methods: We conducted this study using a descriptive, exploratory qualitative approach with a purposive sampling method. Interviews were conducted from July to October 2016 with medical oncologists (mean age: 47.5 years) who had a mean work experience of 15.8 years. Data saturation was achieved with 15 participants. Interviews were semi-structured. Graneheim and Lundman’s qualitative content analysis approach and MAXQDA software were used to analyze the data.

Results: There were two main categories obtained from data analysis: 1. continued comprehensive support in the disease continuum from diagnosis to rehabilitation (education and consultation, social and treatment support for patients, consideration of family support, addressing cultural conditions, psychological support, and financial support) and 2. Prerequisites in the preparation of the care system (the need for creating multidisciplinary teams, development and improvement of health care settings to provide services, and empowering the healthcare team to provide quality care).

Conclusion: Comprehensive care for these patients and integration of these supports are essential in routine care. Major needs which must be addressed more seriously in the Iranian care system include the need for continued comprehensive support in the disease continuum from diagnosis to rehabilitation and prerequisites in the preparation of the care system.

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eISSN: 2008-6687           pISSN: 2008-6709