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Coping Strategies And Its Effect On The Quality Of Life Of Cancer Patients Attending Federal Teaching Hospital Ido- Ekiti

ABSTRACT

 Cancer is the most frequently occurring disease in people globally and early detection increases the survival rate of patients. Globally about, 24.6 million people live with cancer and 12.5% of all deaths are attributable to cancer and if the trend continues, it is estimated that by 2020, 16 million new cases will be diagnosed per annum out of which 70% will be in developing countries (WHO 2014). Cancer patients experience a high level of stress caused by the disease and treatment processes. Dealing with cancer using more beneficial coping styles can effectively improve the quality of life (QOL) and reduce the side effects of cancer, and it is treatment. This study was aimed at assessing the coping strategies used by cancer patients, examining the effect of the coping attitudes adopted by the patients on the quality of life and also investigating the relationship between coping styles and quality of life in cancer patients as well as those receiving chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

The study was performed on 90 cancer patients (59 females and 31 males) attending Federal Teaching Hospital Ido-Ekiti. Endler and Parker Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations, and World Health Organization’s Quality of Life Questionnaire were used to evaluate their coping style and quality of life (QOL), respectively. The study was carried out using descriptive design. The data collected using the questionnaire was analysed and the research questions were answered based on the data generated.

The results suggested that focusing on a patient’s coping style, predominantly on an emotion- focused coping style, is essential to improve patient’s QOL, and it also observed that 88.9% of the participants attend to religious programs which show that the participants have a positive relationship, and full reliance on God gave participants hope that God was in control and that the disease was from him. The results suggest that belief in God helped the participants to accept the diagnosis and cope with the disease.

CHAPTER ONE

1.0   INTRODUCTION

 

1.1   BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

 

Globally about, 24.6 million people live with cancer and 12.5% of all deaths are attributable to cancer and if the trend continues, it is estimated that by 2020, 16 million new cases will be diagnosed per annum out of which 70% will be in developing countries (WHO  2014). Cancer is a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body (National Cancer Institute 2014). According to Merriam Webster Dictionary (2017) cancer is a serious disease caused by cells that are abnormal which can spread to one or many parts of the body.

People with cancer experience multiple symptoms that affect their quality of life (QOL) which may be caused by the disease itself or its treatment. The range of challenges faced by cancer patients in their daily lives determines the coping strategies employed and it brings about their relationship between the challenging situations and the impact on quality of life outcomes. Cancer treatment which includes radiotherapy and chemotherapy may cause significant demands and limitations on the lifestyle of both the patients and their families. This is because the cancer patients go through many physical and emotional challenges while undergoing treatment (Saniah and Zanial, 2010).

Even after the completion of medical treatment, those who survive continue to be concerned about their future health and experience problems that determine their quality of life. Cancer has been observed to be one of the major health problems in the country. Studies on coping strategies and its effect on the quality of life of cancer patients in western populations have been investigated extensively. In contrast, less information exists regarding quality of life and coping mechanism among cancer patients in this part of the world, particularly in Nigeria. This study therefore assessed the coping strategies used by cancer patients and its effect on the quality of life.

1.2   STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

 

In 2012 about 14.1 million new cases of cancer occurred globally (WHO 2014). It caused about 8.2 million deaths or 14.6% of human deaths. The most common types of cancer in males are lung cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer and stomach cancer. In females, the commonest types are breast cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer and cervical cancer (WHO 2014). In children, acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and brain tumors are most common except in Africa where non-Hodgkin lymphoma occurs more often (WHO 2014). In 2012, about 165,000 children under 15 years of age were diagnosed with cancer. According to Jemal, Bray, Center, Ferlay, Ward& Forman (2011), incidence rate of the cancer are increasing as more people live to an old age and as lifestyle changes takes place in the developing world. The financial costs of cancer were estimated at $1.16 trillion US dollars per year as of 2010 (WHO 2014).

In Nigeria, 100,000 new cases of cancer occur every year, with high case fatality ratio (Ferlay, Shin, Bray, Forman, Mathers& Parkin, 2008). With approximately 20% of the population of Africa and slightly more than half the population of West Africa, Nigeria has contributed 15% to the estimated 681,000 new cases of cancer that occurred in Africa in 2008 (Sylla& Wild, 2011). Similar to the situation in the rest of the developing world, a significant proportion of the increase in incidence of cancer in Nigeria is due to increasing life expectancy, reduced risk of death from infectious diseases, increasing prevalence of smoking, physical inactivity, obesity as well as changing dietary and lifestyle patterns (Sylla, Wild, 2011).

 

According to Parkin, Sitas, Chirenje, Stein, Abratt, and Wabinga (2008), reported that in indigenous Africans, about 965million people are diagnosed of cancer annually and lifetime risk of dying from cancer in African women is two times higher than in developed countries.

The diagnosis of cancer often bring a lot of emotional, physical and social responses and these responses and reactions are sometimes linked to the stage of illness or types of treatment which varies for each individual. Every aspect of life of a patient and his or her family is disrupted by the presence of cancer which means that patients will live to experience the debilitating abnormities of the illness as it affects their quality of life. Therefore, the individual‟s psychological and behavioural coping responses to having cancer are crucial and the coping strategies can affect the quality of life of the cancer patient. Therefore, investigating the coping strategies and its effect on the quality of life of cancer patients can help patients manage their condition.

1.3   OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

 

GENERAL OBJECTIVES

 

This study was aimed at determining the coping strategies and its effects on the quality of life of cancer patients attending Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido Ekiti.

SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES

 

The specific objectives are to:

 

  1. Assess the coping strategies used by cancer

 

  1. Examine the effect of the coping attitudes adopted by patients on the quality of

 

  1. Investigate the relationship between coping styles and quality of life in cancer patients as well as those receiving chemotherapy and radiotherapy

 

1.4   SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

 

The purpose of this study is to examine the coping strategies and its effect on the quality of life of cancer patients and also its impact on their family and caregivers. The result of this study will give insight on the ways people cope with cancer and how it affects or improves their quality of life and sense of well-being. It can also be important for health professionals to design health promotion intervention strategies to better improve the quality of life of people living with cancer.

1.5   RESEARCH QUESTION

 

  1. What are the coping strategies used by cancer patients?

 

  1. What are the effects of the coping attitudes adopted by patients on the quality of life?

 

  1. What are the relationship between coping styles and quality of life in cancer patients as well as those receiving chemotherapy and radiotherapy?

1.6   RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS

 

  1. Null Hypothesis (Ho): There is no significant relationship between coping strategies used and gender of cancer

Alternate (Ha): There is a relationship between coping strategies used and gender of cancer patient.

  1. Null Hypothesis (Ho): There is no significant relationship between coping strategies used and religion of the

Alternate (Ha): There is significant relationship between coping strategies used and religion of the patient.

 

  1. Null Hypothesis (Ho): There is no association between coping styles and quality of life of cancer

Alternate (Ha): There is an association between coping styles and quality of life of cancer patients.

1.7   SCOPE OF STUDY AND LIMITATION

 

This study was delimited to patients attending Federal Teaching Hospital Ido Ekiti who have been diagnosed with cancer.

1.8   OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF KEY TERMS

 

  • Cancer: any malignant growth or tumor caused by abnormal and uncontrolled cell division; it may spread to other parts of the body through the lymphatic system or the blood stream.
  • Quality of life: your personal satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) with the cultural or intellectual conditions under which you live (as distinct from material comfort).
  • Coping strategies: ways in which people deal with

 

  • Impact: having an effect upon something.

 

  • Social: relating to people, interpersonal interaction and the

 

  • Health: a state of complete physical, social, psychological, mental, spiritual wellbeing, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity (World health Organization. 2012).
  • Patient: a person who requires medical care and is receiving medical

 

  • Chemotherapy: the use of chemical agents to treat or control

 

  • Radiotherapy: involves the use of ionizing radiation to either cure or improve symptoms of cancer

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