University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

The Experiences of Patients with Ascites Secondary to Cancer: a Qualitative Study

Day, R., Mitchell, Theresa, Keen, A. and Perkins, P. (2013) The Experiences of Patients with Ascites Secondary to Cancer: a Qualitative Study. Palliative Medicine, 27 (8). pp. 739-746. ISSN Print: 0269-2163 Online: 1477-030X

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Background: Ascites secondary to cancer has a dramatic effect on all aspects of patients’ lives. Healthcare professional surveys have shown that there is considerable variation in the management of ascites.

Aim: To explore patients’ experiences of living with ascites and its management.

Design: Qualitative research study using digitally recorded semi-structured interviews.

Setting/participants: Twelve adult patients with ascites who, between them, had undergone 47 paracentesis procedures in hospitals and/or specialist palliative care units in Southern England.

Results: Symptoms were pain, discomfort and effects on appetite, digestion, breathing and mobility. All participants had experienced paracentesis in hospital or a specialist palliative care unit, and these experiences differed. They had views on what constituted a good procedure: setting, competence and pain control. They reported rapid improvement of symptoms after paracentesis. While some did not like the idea of a semi-permanent drain, those with them appreciated the convenience and not having to wait for repeated admissions or the recurrence of symptoms. The interval between ascitic taps was seen as a useful guide as to when a semi-permanent drain should be offered. Participants had mixed views on participation in a hypothetical randomised controlled trial of repeated ascitic taps versus semi-permanent drains.

Conclusion: Patients’ experiences of ascites management are variable and could be improved. These experiences can inform healthcare professionals. They have views on when semi-permanent drains should be offered and future research.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information:

Staff and students at the University of Worcester can access the full-text via the UW online library search. External users should check availability with their local library or Interlibrary Requests Service.

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: patient experience, malignant ascites, cancer, qualitative research, research, patient care management, paracentesis, neoplasm
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences > School of Nursing and Midwifery
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Theresa Mitchell
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2015 11:31
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2020 17:07

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