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

Myles Balfe, Kieran Keohane, Katie M O'Brien, Rachael Gooberman-Hill, Becky Maguire, Paul Hanly, Eleanor O' Sullivan, Linda Sharp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
582 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-34
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Oncology Nursing
Volume30
Early online date29 Jul 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017

Keywords

  • Head and neck cancer
  • Carer
  • Caregiving
  • Commuting
  • Travel
  • Treatment
  • Qualitative

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