eISSN: 1644-4116
ISSN: 1429-8538
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vol. 19
Original paper

Search for knowledge about disease and usage of alternative therapy among patients undergoing radiotherapy

Katarzyna Bielesz
Dawid Plutowski
Filip Sokołowski
Wojciech Strzelczyk
Anna Kieszkowska-Grudny
Monika Rucińska

Psychoonkologia 2015, 2: 43–48
Online publish date: 2015/09/15
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Introduction: Diagnosis of cancer, its development and anticancer treatment results in many physical and mental problems, including anxiety, which may induce need to seek additional information regarding the disease and its treatment, and the use of alternative, non-conventional therapy. The aim of the study was to assess the willingness and way of broadening knowledge about the disease and treatment, and the use of unconventional therapies by cancer patients undergoing radical radiotherapy.

Material and methods: One hundred and one cancer patients (aged 26–80 years) were recruited into the study. We used a research form created for this study by members of the Students’ Scientific Circle at the Oncology Department, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn.

Results: A majority of patients (83%) showed a desire to expand knowledge about their disease. Most frequently indicated source of additional knowledge were newspapers and magazines, then television and talks with relatives and friends. Men with primary and vocational education, working physically, living in villages and small towns most often not seeking additional information. The 20% of patients admitted the use of non-conventional medicine. Patients rarely (only 29% of respondents) received the help and the support from physiotherapists, social workers, psychologists, psychotherapists or priests.

Conclusions: The accurate and understandable information about cancer required therefore needs to be diffused in the most available media (newspapers, magazines, television). It is appropriate to draw patients’ attention to the opportunity to use the professional psychological, social and spiritual help, which is increasingly available on the oncological hospitals.

search for information about cancer, knowledge level, interest in alternative treatment

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