Patients Experiences Regarding Oncology Treatment and Care At Hospitals in Vhembe District of Limpopo Province
Cancer is an emerging public health problem in Africa. The numbers are projected to nearly double (1.28 million new cancer cases and 970,000 cancer deaths) by 2030 simply due to the aging and growth of the population. This study explored and described the experiences of patients regarding treatment and care at the hospitals in Vhembe District, Limpopo Province. A qualitative approach explorative, descriptive and phenomenological was used. The target population were patients undergoing cancer treatment in the five hospitals in Vhembe District. A purposive sampling of the hospitals that have oncology clinics for cancer patients under their care were selected and convenience sampling of participants. Unstructured, in-depth individual interviews were used to collect data. Trustworthiness and ethical considerations were followed to protect the study participants. The following findings emerged: Participants’ feelings of uncertainty about their cancer and treatment,poor of communication and fear of death, experiences of distress due to treatment side effects and poor support by family members and experiences of care by health care institutions and poor coordination of treatment. Recommendations were made to assist in the improvement of cancer services in the Vhembe District of Limpopo Province.
Keywords- oncology, diagnosis, health service, care, treatment, physical and psychologic experiences