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A qualitative study among breast cancer patients on chemotherapy: experiences and side-effects

Authors Nies YH, Mhd Ali A, Abdullah N, Islahudin F, Mohamed Shah N

Received 19 March 2018

Accepted for publication 16 June 2018

Published 28 September 2018 Volume 2018:12 Pages 1955—1964


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Yong Hui Nies,1 Adliah Mhd Ali,1 Norlia Abdullah,2 Farida Islahudin,1 Noraida Mohamed Shah1

1Faculty of Pharmacy, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; 2Department of Surgery, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Purpose: The objective of this study was to explore the experiences and side-effects of breast cancer patients on chemotherapy in Malaysia.
Participants and methods: Purposive sampling of 36 breast cancer patients who have completed chemotherapy and agreed to participate in semi-structured in-depth interviews. A constant comparative method and thematic analysis were used to analyze the interviews.
Results: Data were categorized into six main themes: know nothing of chemotherapy; fear of chemotherapy; patients’ beliefs in alternative treatments; symptom management; staying healthy after chemotherapy; and concerns of patients after chemotherapy.
Conclusion: Despite complaints about the bad experiences of their chemotherapy-induced side-effects, these patients still managed to complete the entire course of chemotherapy. Moreover, there is a need for a clinical pharmacy service in the oncology clinic setting in Malaysia in order to provide relevant information to help patients understand the chemotherapy received.

breast cancer, chemotherapy, clinical pharmacy service, Malaysia, semi-structured interview

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