A Spanish Initiative to Know the Unmet Needs of Women with Lung Cancer:
Journal of Thoracic Oncology
Type of content
Publicación de congreso
Background The personal and family impact of an oncological disease can only be adequately understood and managed from a biopsychosocial perspective. Lung cancer experience has a profound impact on the well-being of both patient and family caregiver and is largely influenced by communication within the family environment. Lung cancer impact can be especially significant when women are affected. Method The objective of this study was to develop an informative program for women with lung cancer, implementing the development of strategies in order to get a deepening knowledge of their perceived needs. Additionally, we aimed to define and design new useful resources that may help other women with lung cancer. A qualitative research allowed to collect data on the experiences in the circle of women and their families, and the identification of the needs and the coping resources used of the participants. The collection of these data was what led to the development of the tools used to develop the support strategies. Result A total of 10 women with lung cancer from Galicia (Spain) participated in 7 sessions. At the personal and psychological level in the women circle, needs were related to improve medical information they get from their physicians, share information and experiences with women in the same situation, more holistic-human care, and the need for more supporting groups. About the social and labor environment, they expressed concern about the social stigma associated with lung cancer, and the culpability for having smoked as well as the concern related to the interruption of working life. The family environment also expressed the need for emotional support and preparation for families and caregivers to be able to support the patient, the need to provide them with strategies to improve the situation, and the need to overcome initial isolation through working groups. Regarding resources, women's circle was mainly focused on occupying time with new activities, humor and not stigmatizing the disease and the professionals who assist them. Conclusion “Círculos program”, even being a pilot program, show the benefits of a more humane approach to the treatment of lung cancer in women, with a better understanding of patients and families needs. More similar programs should be done in order to improve the quality of life of these patients and their transit through this disease.