Original Research

The impact of advanced cancer on the functional status of patients attending oncology clinics in selected urban areas

H.L. Brink
Curationis | Vol 11, No 3 | a142 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v11i3.142 | © 1988 H.L. Brink | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 September 1988 | Published: 21 September 1988

About the author(s)

H.L. Brink, Department of Nursing Science, University of South Africa, South Africa

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The primary purpose of the study was to obtain information from out patients with advanced cancer on their functional status, and to construct a profile of existing needs, which may be of use for nurses involved with planning and rendering support. A secondary purpose was to determine whether an existing instrument would provide a reliable means of assessing the degree of symptom distress and its impact on the functional status of patients with advanced cancer in this country. The population consisted of patients who had been diagnosed as suffering from cancer with metastases to at least one of the following organs - liver, lung, bone or brain - and who were under active therapy or supervision at an oncology clinic of a large hospital as out patients. Six clinics were selected; however, only four participated. Random samples of one or two patients per clinic day were selected during the period from October 1987 to January 1988for interviews. A total of 146 patients participated. The Chairmen of the Regional Oncology Nursing Societies were the chief investigators. Selected oncology nurses assisted with data collection. The instrument was found to be reliable and a positive relationship between symptom distress and functional status was established. Areas of problems and concerns of cancer patients were identified and a profile was constructed as an aid to nurses planning or rendering cancer care.


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