Information needs, informational support and psychosocial adjustment in persons with head and neck cancer

Adams, Barbara (1996) Information needs, informational support and psychosocial adjustment in persons with head and neck cancer. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

Head and neck cancer has been described as one of the most emotionally traumatic types of cancer. Individuals often cope with stressful events by seeking information. However, recent studies have reported that information was identified as an unmet need by persons with cancer. There has been very little published research that explored the specific information needs of persons with head and neck cancer or that investigated outcomes of informational support. -- This descriptive correlational study investigated information needs, informational support and psychosocial adjustment in a convenience sample of 65 persons with head and neck cancer. Based on the time since diagnosis, the sample was divided into three subgroups, representing different phases of the cancer experience. Data were collected by interviewing outpatients at the local ambulatory cancer centre and a few inpatients in the acute care facility. A structured questionnaire, consisting primarily of rating scales and structured questions, was developed by the researcher and used for data collection. -- The findings indicated that 75% of the sample wanted to be well informed. The importance and type of information needed varied throughout the phases of the cancer experience and differed significantly (p = .0005) among the three subgroups. Participants expressed a high level of satisfaction with informational support received and, in general, adjusted well to their head and neck cancer. A significant positive correlation (p = .02) between informational support and psychosocial adjustment was found in two of the subgroups. -- This study identified phase-specific information needs of persons with head and neck cancer that can guide nurses in their patient teaching, and thereby facilitate the process of psychosocial adjustment. The results of this study can be used in basic and continuing education programs to illustrate the changing nature of information needs and the importance of ongoing assessment. This study paves the way for future studies to investigate similar needs in other populations, explore different intervention approaches, or evaluate outcomes of various modes of information delivery.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/5711
Item ID: 5711
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 91-98.
Department(s): Nursing, School of
Date: 1996
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Patient education; Cancer--Patients; Head--Cancer; Neck--Cancer
Medical Subject Heading: Patient Education as Topic; Head and Neck Neoplasms; Neoplasm--psychology

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