Hepatobiliary cancer is the major cause of death among adult with cancer in Thailand. Being diagnosed with advanced stage hepatobiliary cancer may result in psycholosocial distress and functioning. Little is known about the psychosocial concerns and coping strategies among this group. The main aim of this study was to describe the concerns and coping strategies of patients with advanced stage hepatobiliary cancer.
This study was conducted in the tertiary hospital. Informants were 10 patients newly diagnosed with stage III or stage IV Hepatobiliary cancer. Interviews were employed and recorded on audiotape. Informants were asked to describe their experiences with advanced stage hepatobiliary cancer. Qualitative content analysis was applied.
Informants identified five main areas of concern: 1) being suffered from distressful symptoms; 2) fear of death; 3) financial constrain; and 4) feeling of being a burden to their family. Informants used several coping strategies to adjust themselves to illness experiences. Coping strategies were categorized in to 4 groups; using religious approaches, developing optimistic views, applying relaxation technique, and seeking health information and alternative treatments.
The result of this study will be useful for health care providers to develop a holistic and culturally sensitive care program for persons with hepatobiliary cancer.