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23.03.2016 | Original Article | Ausgabe 8/2016

Supportive Care in Cancer 8/2016

Loneliness of oncology patients at the end of life

Zeitschrift:
Supportive Care in Cancer > Ausgabe 8/2016
Autoren:
Yasemin Çıracı, Nesrin Nural, Ziya Saltürk

Abstract

Background

Terminal stage cancer patients experience anxiety about death and pessimism about the future. They usually fear that as they approach death, their pain will increase, they will lose their reputation, and they will be alone. However, few studies have evaluated the loneliness that these cancer patients feel. This was a cross-sectional and definitive study that evaluated the feeling of loneliness in terminal cancer patients.

Methods

In total, 55 cancer patients with terminal cancer who were hospitalised for palliative therapy between 14 November 2014 and 14 January 2015 in the Okmeydanı Training and Research Hospital were included in the study. The patients were given a questionnaire form that included sociodemographic properties and University of California Los Angeles Loneliness Scale to collect data.

Results

Loneliness was detected as 53.61 ± 9.29. There was no relationship between sociodemographic data and loneliness (p > 0.05). Regression analysis revealed that family support and sharing of emotional stress were related to the level of loneliness (p < 0.05). More than half of the patients needed psychological support because they could not handle the situation.

Conclusions

Terminal stage cancer patients felt lonely in general, and patients with a lack of visitors and family support experienced a higher level of loneliness.

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