Chemotherapy at home: Keeping patients in their “natural habitat”

Nicole Crisp, Priscilla M. Koop, Karen King, Wendy Duggleby, Kathleen F. Hunter


Escalating cancer rates and an increase in the complexity and duration of chemotherapy regimens have brought the issue of cancer treatment at home to the forefront. For the participants of this study, home chemotherapy was offered as a potential treatment choice. Ten patients who accepted home chemotherapy were interviewed using the methodology of interpretive description. They shared their experiences of receiving chemotherapy at home, and identified home as being a “natural habitat” in which they were better able to adapt to their circumstances. Patients were able to redistribute their resources including time, energy, and finances in ways that were meaningful to them. They felt the care provided was enhanced and they were more receptive to teaching. Lastly, participants viewed themselves as being less ill and better able to cope with their treatments. Given the results of this study and other research available, chemotherapy at home should be considered an option for patients with cancer.

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