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Experiences of Newly Diagnosed Oral Cancer Patients during the First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Qualitative Study from Pakistan

Khattak, Maria Ishaq, Khattak, Saad Ishaq, Khan, Muslim, Khan, Zohaib, Dikomitis, Lisa, Ul-Haq, Zia, Saddki, Norkhafizah (2022) Experiences of Newly Diagnosed Oral Cancer Patients during the First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Qualitative Study from Pakistan. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19 (14). Article Number 8508. ISSN 1660-4601. (doi:10.3390/ijerph19148508) (KAR id:96922)

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Official URL:
https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19148508

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the scaling back or postponement of non-emergency hospital services, including care of cancer patients. The present qualitative study explored the experiences of newly diagnosed oral cancer patients during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Pakistan. Patients who attended the Department of Maxillofacial Surgery, Khyber College of Dentistry in July 2020 were selected using a maximum variation purposive sampling method. Seventeen semi-structured interviews were conducted in Pashto, the local language of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. All interviews were audiotaped, transcribed verbatim, and translated into English. Thematic content analysis yielded eight major themes: pain and generalised physical weakness, shock at diagnosis, psychological distress of the COVID-19 pandemic, faith and religion, double hit loss of employment, social isolation, social support from caregivers, and lack of support from health care professionals. In conclusion, the COVID-19 pandemic has a clear impact on the life experiences of newly diagnosed oral cancer patients. Distress due to delay in accessing health care and lack of support from health care providers are a matter of great concern. Appropriate interventions should be introduced to ensure psychological and social support strategies are in place for patients during interruptions of health care services.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.3390/ijerph19148508
Uncontrolled keywords: oral cancer; COVID-19; life experiences; health care; social support; Pakistan
Subjects: R Medicine
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Kent and Medway Medical School
Depositing User: Rachael Heller
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2022 13:10 UTC
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2022 09:45 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/96922 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Dikomitis, Lisa: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5752-3270
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