Quality of life in patients receiving platinum based chemotherapy for advanced non-small cell lung cancer
Quality of life in patients receiving platinum based chemotherapy for advanced non-small cell lung cancer. Lung cancer is the cause of 34,000 deaths in the UK each year, with a five year survival rate of only 7.5%. The current treatment for advanced Non Small Cell Lung Cancer is combination chemotherapy but this confers only a small survival advantage. Quality of Life is often proposed as a secondary outcome to most chemotherapy studies as chemotherapy remains palliative. Quality of life is measured using a series of tools, such as the EORTC QLQ 30 that although established and tested for validity are functionally based or focus on physical symptoms. The aim of this study is to explore the meaning of quality of life in this group of patients. The study utilises use comparative methods (interview n=50, QLQ EORTC 30 data, clinical observation/field notes, medical notes, nursing notes and mapping) to examine the meaning of quality of life in this patient group. This is essentially a collaboration of medical and nursing practice with the aim of understanding what quality of life means to these patients, improving the experience of patients undergoing treatment and offering appropriate psycho-social support. Content analysis has generated a core theme of patient experience as having an impact on quality of life (negotiation of the treatment calendar, value of treatment broker and interactions with professionals) the overlapping themes are Lens of diagnosis (viewed as atrocity stories), The worth of treatment (despite physical side effects and poor life expectancy, chemotherapy is a focus of hope and allows for adjustment to poor prognosis) and Suffering (psychological and social, for example exclusion from social activities and loss of independence). This study has impacted on the service to cancer patients at a central London NHS Foundation Trust.