From one side to the other: what is essential? Perception of oncology patients and their caregivers in the beginning of oncology treatment and in palliative care
To evaluate the perception of oncology patients and their caregivers upon diagnosis and beginning of the therapy and during palliative care.
A cross-sectional study at the oncology and palliative care outpatients clinics of the Faculdade de Medicina do ABC. Clinical and demographic data from patients and their caregivers were collected and questionnaires regarding the elements considered important in relation to the treatment were applied.
We enrolled 32 patients and 23 caregivers that were initiating treatment at the oncology outpatient clinic, as well as 20 patients and 20 caregivers at the palliative care clinic. Regarding the patients treated at the oncology clinic, the issues considered most important were a physician available to discuss the disease and answer questions (84%), trust in the physician (81%), and a physician with accessible language (81%). For their caregivers, the following issues were considered extremely important: trust in the medical team that treats the patients (96%), and the same medical team taking care of their relatives (87%). As to patients treated at the palliative care clinic, trust in the physician (83%), to be with people considered important to them (78%), and to be treated preserving their dignity (72%) were considered extremely important. For their caregivers, to receive adequate information about the disease and the treatment’s risks and benefits (84%), and sincere communication of information about the disease (79%) were considered extremely relevant.Conclusion Confidence through good communication and consistency in care were fundamental values to achieve satisfaction among caregivers and patients with cancer during all the course of disease development.