Jodie Nixon1,2*, Bena Brown2,3, Amanda Pigott1,2, Jane Turner4, Elizabeth Ward5 and Sandro Porceddu4,6
1Occupational Therapy Department, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Australia
2School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Queensland, Australia
3Speech Pathology Department, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Australia
4Faculty of Medicine, University of Queensland, Australia
5Centre for Functioning and Health Research, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Australia
6Radiation Oncology, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Australia
*Corresponding Author: Jodie Nixon, Occupational Therapy Department, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Woolloongabba, Australia.
Received: January 04, 2020; Published: January 08, 2020
Purpose: To understand the experience of distress and life engagement in people with head and neck cancer (HNC) in the years following treatment.
Method: Participants treated more than 5 years previously for HNC completed the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Distress Thermometer (DT) and Problem List and an interview to explore their experience of distress. Data from the DT were analysed descriptively, and interviews analysed qualitatively to extract core themes.
Results: Twenty-one participants were recruited and reported an average DT score of 3/10, with the most commonly reported problems related to physical (87%) and emotional challenges (57%). Thematic analysis of the interviews revealed three themes: (1) The experience of head and neck cancer is distressing; (2) Facilitators to adjustment and re-engagement, and; (3) “My (philosophical) approach was…”.
Conclusion: Low-level distress remained an ongoing issue for people beyond 5 years post HNC. This distress is related to the challenges of the disease, treatment, and ongoing side-effects. Coping strategies and mindset philosophy enabled participants to manage ongoing side-effects with the support of practical strategies and health professional support, highlighting the importance of ongoing survivorship engagement with services to address long-term need and care.
Keywords: Distress; Engagement in Daily Life; Head and Neck Cancer; Survivorship
Citation: Jodie Nixon., et al. “A Mixed Methods Study Exploring the Experience of Distress and Engagement in Daily Life in People with Head and Neck Cancer Beyond 5 Years Post-Treatment". Acta Scientific Otolaryngology 2.1 (2020): 15-22.
Copyright: © 2020 Jodie Nixon., et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.