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Title: The perspectives of health professionals on the psychosocial impact of an altered appearance among adolescents treated for cancer
Author: Williamson, Heidi-Marie
ISNI:       0000 0004 2735 3113
Awarding Body: University of the West of England, Bristol
Current Institution: University of the West of England, Bristol
Date of Award: 2012
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Despite evidence suggesting that an altered appearance can impact on the psychological and social functioning of adolescent cancer patients, patient and parental reports imply that the provision of appearance-related psychosocial support can be inadequate. This study therefore investigated the perspectives of 62 health professionals from paediatric oncology multi-disciplinary teams across the UK, regarding the impact of appearance change on adolescent patients, their experiences of delivering appearance-related care, and their training needs in this area. A two-phase qualitatively driven mixed methods design was employed. An inductive qualitative approach was used in phase one to generate detailed data about a thus far unexplored topic. Findings from this phase informed phase two: a deductive mixed qualitative / quantitative approach employed to triangulate and further explore the initial qualitative themes. The findings from both parts were then integrated to incorporate the depth of part one with the breadth of part two. Integrated findings were divided into two main outcomes. The first depicts health professionals' perceptions of the psychosocial and behavioural impact of appearance distress and their experiences of interventions that prevent or ameliorate appearance concern. The second illustrates personal barriers (among health professionals, adolescents and parents) and organisational barriers that can combine to inhibit the delivery of appearance-related support and suggestions by health professionals on how these may be overcome. Findings demonstrate that the appearance needs of patients are extensive and varied, but due to the barriers identified can be poorly addressed or overlooked. Nonetheless some practitioners are utilising a variety of interventions supported by theory and evidence of their success in other clinical areas. Recommendations are made for the content, design and co-ordination of appearance interventions for adolescents and for the content of education programmes to meet the training needs identified by participants.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available