Understanding the Experiences and Priorities of Women with Ovarian Cancer: Implications for Support and Care.
Post by A/Prof Michelle Peate
Ovarian cancer is the third most common gynaecological cancer among women. Despite its prevalence, ovarian cancer remains under-researched, and the supportive care needs of women with this condition are often overlooked. Our recent study aimed to shed light on the experiences and priorities of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The findings provide valuable insights that can inform the development of tailored support and care strategies for women facing this challenging diagnosis.
Exploring the Experiences and Priorities
The study was conducted in collaboration with Ovarian Cancer Australia (OCA), involved 288 participants recruited through a targeted social media campaign. The participants were asked to rank nine aspects of living with ovarian cancer based on their perceived level of challenge. The results showed that fear of cancer recurrence was the most commonly (51%) identified and challenging aspect – highlighting the need for interventions that address this and to alleviate the distress associated with the possibility of cancer returning.
One interesting aspect was the potential influence of age on the experiences and priorities. While the priorities did not significantly vary by age, there were notable differences in the utilization of support and information resources. Younger participants, aged 19-49, showed a higher inclination to use a mobile app version of the OCA resilience kit, indicating their preference for digital tools in managing their condition. Moreover, younger women expressed a greater interest in utilizing a fertility preservation decision aid, highlighting their specific concerns related to future parenthood and family planning.
Advancing Patient-Centered Tailored Support and Care
Patient-centered care, which places the individual's needs and preferences at the forefront of healthcare delivery, is crucial for improving the quality of life of women with ovarian cancer. By identifying the priorities and experiences of these women, healthcare providers can develop tailored interventions and resources that better address their unique challenges. The study highlights the importance of considering age-specific differences and utilizing technology-based solutions to reach and engage a wider audience, including older individuals who may face barriers in accessing relevant health information online. By adopting patient-centered approaches, healthcare providers and support organizations can make significant strides in improving the well-being and quality of life for women living with ovarian cancer.
Read more here: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00520-023-07903-3
Citation: Pasvanis M, et al. Exploring the experiences and priorities of women with a diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Supportive Care in Cancer 2023.
Acknowledgements: ChatGPT was used to generate this content