World Journal of Epidemiology and Cancer Prevention Volume No 6

Original Article Open Access

Knowledge, Attitudes and Perceptions of Head and Neck Radiotherapy in Ghana

Adesi Kyei Kofi, Reuben Vormawor, Samuel Opoku and Verna Vanderpuye
World Journal of Epidemiology and Cancer Prevention 2015, 4:1

Abstract

Background

Throughout the course of therapy, including radiotherapy, surgery and chemotherapy, side effects and complications can arise and have the potential to be severe and sometimes fatal. Due to the anatomic location of the vital organs of speech, swallowing and respiration, the side effects and complications of the treatment of head and neck cancers are more common than similar treatment for cancers at other anatomic sites. It is therefore important that patients’ perception about these side effects and complications of radiotherapy be established to enable the cancer management team to help patients better understand these conditions as well as the management strategies available.

Aim

The aim of the study was to investigate the knowledge, attitudes and the perceptions of patients on the side effects of head and neck radiotherapy.

Methodology

A descriptive survey with structured questionnaire as data collection tool was used. The data collected was analysed with Microsoft Excel Software and SPSS version 18. The results were presented on tables, bar charts and pie chart as well using regression analyses.

Results

The results obtained suggested that 60% of the participants had positive perception about the side effects and complications of radiotherapy, since most of them agreed that these conditions were as a result of the radiation therapy, even though, some still saw it as progression of their disease condition.

Conclusion

Head and neck cancer patients have positive perception about the side effects and complications of radiotherapy as a result of the treatment.

Key words

Perception, Side effects, Complications, Head and Neck cancers, Radiotherapy.




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