Perception of cancer disease in adults without a diagnosis over eighteen: A qualitative research
Introduction and aim: Nowdays, the survival and treatment rates in cancer have increased while the incidence of cancer is gradually increasing. Cancer perceptions and knowledge situations that determine thr behaviors and attitudes of individuals in the fight against cancer are important. In this research, it is aimed to qualitatively evaluate the cancer perceptions of individuals.
Materials and Method: Individuals over 18 year of age with different sociodemographic characteristics were included in this research planned in the qualitative structure. The voice recordings obtained in the semi-structured in-depth interviews were analyzed one by one, the codes were determined by mutual resding, and the thematic analysis was performed. The main questions asked during the interviews are “How do you think cancer is a disease, how cancer affects people’s lives, how would you feel if you are diagnosed with cancer?” A questionnaire from questionning the sociodemographic data and the attitudes, perceptions and information about cancer was applied to respondents before the interview. Data were analyzed with the SPSS 20.0 program.
Results: A total of 43 interviews were conducted by five researchers. The average age of the respondents was 39,9±16,1. 72,1% of the respondents were female, and 27,9% of them were male. Environmental factors (95,3%) are thought to cause cancer. All of the respondents think that cancer also affects the lives of others. A total of 11 codes and four themes were specified. Theme I. Emotional dimension of the disease “Why heve I been contracted? Why me other than someone else? What have I done… A sense of guilt devolops.”; Theme II. Thoughts and beliefs “Its is a disease that reminds people of the death that is already close.”; Theme III. The effect of cancer on humans “… They give you poison to cure and this poison destroys you.”; Theme IV. Attitudes and behavoirs towards cancer and cancer patients.”… You cannot do anything coming from Allah,… Not only you but also we will all together overcame it.” It was determined that there was a general perception that cancer is a process of struggle and changes the individual and his/her relatives, and the process is exhausting and killing. The level of knowledge and awarnesse of those who were the patiant’s relatives was found to be higer.
Conclusion: The researche indicates that perception of cancer has a very complex structure that includes emotionel and social dimensions, physically, mentally and spiritually affects the patients and their relatives and is shapes by environmental influences.
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