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Keywords:

  • pleural mesothelioma;
  • psychosocial care;
  • grounded theory;
  • terminal illness;
  • uncertainty

Abstract

Objective

This study explores patient's experience during the first 3 months following a diagnosis of malignant pleural mesothelioma.

Methods

This study uses a grounded theory approach with semi-structured, face-to-face interviews with 10 patients during the first 3 months following diagnosis.

Results

The key concept that emerged from the data was this: Uncertainty and lack of control leading to emotional, physical and psychosocial distress. Three themes informed the key concept: ‘ it's all bad news’, ‘good and bad days’ and strategies of amelioration. Patients worked with a short-term perspective on their illness but worried about the long-term outcome and the speed of their deterioration.

Conclusions

Patients receive insufficient psychosocial support during the first 3 months following diagnosis. An early palliative care referral would improve support and referral strategies during the first 3 months of the disease. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.