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In a bad place: Carers of patients with head and neck cancer experiences of travelling for cancer treatment

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Linda Sharp


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© 2017 Elsevier Ltd Purpose To explore the effect that treatment-related commuting has on carers of patients with head and neck cancer. Method Semi-structured interviews, thematically analysed, with 31 carers. Results Treatment-related commuting had a considerable impact on carers of patients with head and neck cancer, both in practical terms (economic costs, disruption) and also in psychological terms. Many carers of patients with head and neck cancer described becoming distressed by their commute. Some carers from large urban cities appeared to have hidden commuting burdens. Some carers respond to commuting stress by ‘zoning out’ or becoming ‘like zombies’. Conclusions Treatment-related travel for head and neck cancer can have significant practical and psychological impacts. Health professionals should be aware of the impacts that commuting can have on head and neck caregivers. Health services may be able to take practical steps, such as providing subsidized parking, to address head and neck carergivers’ difficulties.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Balfe M, Keohane K, O'Brien K, Gooberman-Hill R, Maguire R, Hanly P, O'Sullivan E, Sharp L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: European Journal of Oncology Nursing

Year: 2017

Volume: 30

Pages: 29-34

Print publication date: 01/10/2017

Online publication date: 29/07/2017

Acceptance date: 01/07/2017

ISSN (print): 1462-3889

ISSN (electronic): 1532-2122

Publisher: Churchill Livingstone


DOI: 10.1016/j.ejon.2017.07.001


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