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Lung cancer symptom appraisal among people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: A qualitative interview study

Cunningham, Yvonne, Wyke, Sally, Blyth, Kevin G., Rigg, Douglas, Macdonald, Sara, Macleod, Una, Harrow, Stephen, Robb, Kathryn A. and Whitaker, Katriina L. (2019) Lung cancer symptom appraisal among people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: A qualitative interview study PSYCHO-ONCOLOGY, 28 (4). pp. 718-725.

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Objective The incidence of lung cancer is four‐times higher in people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) compared to the general population. Promotion of a shorter time from symptom onset to presentation is one potential strategy for earlier lung cancer diagnosis but distinguishing respiratory symptoms can be difficult. We investigated how the experience of COPD influences symptom appraisal and help‐seeking for potential lung cancer symptoms. Methods We conducted qualitative interviews with men (n=17) and women (n=23) aged 40‐83 with COPD. Topic guides drew on the Integrated Symptom‐Response Framework and covered symptom experience, interpretation, action, recognition, help‐seeking, evaluation and re‐evaluation. We used the Framework Method to analyse the data. Results Participants said they attributed chest symptoms to their COPD; no other cause was considered. Participants said that family/friends noticed changes in their symptoms and encouraged help‐seeking. Others felt isolated by their COPD because they could not get out, were fatigued, or were embarrassed. Participants visited health professionals frequently but increased risk of lung cancer was not discussed. Conclusions Our study provides insight into different levels of influence on symptom appraisal and targets for intervention. Greater awareness of increased lung cancer risk and support to act on symptom changes is essential and could be achieved through a concerted information campaign. Health professionals working with people with COPD could also optimise appointments to support symptom appraisal of potential lung cancer symptoms.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Health Sciences
Authors :
Cunningham, Yvonne
Wyke, Sally
Blyth, Kevin G.
Rigg, Douglas
Macdonald, Sara
Macleod, Una
Harrow, Stephen
Robb, Kathryn A.
Whitaker, Katriina
Date : 28 January 2019
Funders : Cancer Research UK Early Diagnosis Advisory Group Grant
DOI : 10.1002/pon.5005
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2019 The Authors. Psycho‐Oncology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Uncontrolled Keywords : Cancer; Oncology; COPD; Early diagnosis; Symptom appraisal
Depositing User : Diane Maxfield
Date Deposited : 04 Feb 2019 17:06
Last Modified : 05 Apr 2019 08:38

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