Patient Stories: An Innovative Direction for Nurses Providing Support to Hematology Patients in Rural Areas

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Abstract

AIMS.

This study set out to explore the attitudes toward a “Patient Stories” DVD as a psychosocial support initiative for patients diagnosed with a hematological malignancy.

DESIGN.

A qualitative research design was employed through a series of open-ended interviews and one focus group.

PARTICIPANTS.

Participants were purposively sampled from a database of patients maintained by the Leukaemia Foundation of Queensland. In total, there were 50 participants (n = 26 male, n = 24 female), which represented the following major hematological diagnostic groups: multiple myeloma (n = 15), lymphoma (n = 14), leukemia (n = 17), and other (n = 4). Of the overall cohort, 11 participants had undergone a bone marrow transplant, and 15 had undergone a stem cell transplant (allogeneic and autologous transplants).

RESULTS AND CONCLUSION.

Most participants believed that a “Patient Stories” DVD would be a beneficial and effective way for nurses delivering psychosocial support to hematology patients. Such benefits included a sense of normalization from hearing similar stories and providing convenient support that did not require travel or potentially uncomfortable social situations. However, some participants did not show interest in the idea for reasons such as already having a local support system and not wanting to watch potentially frightening stories.

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