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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

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/PPA.S168638

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Cristina Weinberg

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.

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

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