Cancer is a leading cause of illness and death across the world, affecting virtually every population group and country. Despite progress in diagnosis and treatment that have increased survival rates, patients can experience a wide variety of physical and psychological complications as well as changes in health status and quality of life (Rooeintan et al., 2019). The primary issue is that cancer patients lack the support tools and systems in the post-discharge period resulting in their health, psychosocial, and even physiological needs not being met. Rooeintan et al. (2019) identifies two sets of needs which are healing and relaxation needs (which include elements of trust, friendship, empowerment, patience, and tolerance among others) as well as monitoring and balancing conditions needs (focusing on care monitoring and protection). These post-discharge needs need to be fulfilled to ensure that patients receive appropriate outpatient treatment, access to treatment teams, preparation of family and care systems to care for these patients, and acceptance of the community.
The issue was chosen in the context of the selected topic which is “Risk Reduction Strategies of Depression for post-operative breast cancer patients.” Lack of support tools and systems post-discharge can lead to depression, particularly with potential psychological and physiological changes that may occur with operations such as a mastectomy often used for breast cancer treatment. Kim et al. (2017) statistically identify that post-operative breast cancer patients experience a higher incidence of depression in the first 3 years after surgery, with an emotional gap between breast cancer survivors and population-based control subjects. Meanwhile, qualitative data from interviews by Rooeintan et al., 2019 supports the claim, with multiple patients identifying post-operative depression and anxiety due to physical changes and shifts in the quality of life. This suggests the significant importance of addressing mental health and support systems for post-operative breast cancer patients to ensure that their needs are met.
Kim, M.-S., Kim, S. Y., Kim, J.-H., Park, B., & Choi, H. G. (2017). Depression in breast cancer patients who have undergone mastectomy: A national cohort study. PLOS ONE, 12(4), e0175395. Web.
Rooeintan, M., Khademi, M., Toulabi, T., Nabavi, F. H., & Gorji, M. (2019). Explaining postdischarge care needs of cancer patients: A qualitative study. Indian Journal of Palliative Care, 25(1), 110–118. Web.