Treatment decision-making experience among Indonesian women with obstetrics and gynecology-related cancer

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Abstract

Background: Delay of medical treatment among Indonesian women was a common phenomenon. Culturally, Indonesians women rely on their family for decision-making that might suspend medical treatment and poorer diagnoses. Understanding decision-making experience is a crucial element required to shorten cancer treatment delays. Aim: The aim of this study was to describe the narratives and experiences of Indonesian women diagnosed with obstetrics and gynecology-related cancers in stages II and III in treatment decision-making. Methods: A qualitative descriptive method was employed and a purposive sample of 15 Indonesian women diagnosed with obstetrics and gynecology-related cancers in stages II and III participated in this study. A hermeneutic phenomenological approach was applied. Data were collected by semi-structured in-depth interviews at three points in time following diagnosis and treatment recommendation. Results: Four themes emerged from the data analysis: (1) role of gender in the treatment decision-making process; (2) the treatment's journey; (3) acceptance of medical treatment opinions; and (4) acceptance of living with cancer as a destiny. The majority of participants reported a passive role in the treatment decision-making process while participants characterized by working-women who were financially independent actively involved in the treatment decisions. Support given by family, can be perceived negatively by participant and may relate to experiences of emotional strain that resulted in delayed of medical-treatment. A cultural belief in cancer treatment journey was expressed. Almost all participants describe in detail experiencing a regret at a delayed medical treatment decision made. Trust in their abilities, and healthcare professionals’ involvement maximized their hope of survival. Conclusion: The findings from this study suggest a need for eliciting more specific psychosocial interactions in the treatment decision-making process. This particular support is also required by women with obstetrics and gynecology-related cancers to be able to go through the medical treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-76
Number of pages9
JournalMedecine Palliative
Volume22
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

Keywords

  • Cancer
  • Cancer
  • Decision-making
  • Prise de décision
  • Qualitatif
  • Qualitative
  • Traitement
  • Treatment

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