It sounds counterintuitive, but a recent study indicates that pleural mesothelioma patients would be happier and healthier if they had fewer appointments with their physicians. The reason is simple – appointments that offer no active treatment create additional stress.
Mesothelioma Patients Need Quality of Life Consideration
The study, published in the journal Cancer Nursing, examined records for both mesothelioma patients and lung cancer patients treated between 1998 and 2018. Researchers Dr. Anne Fraser and Dr. Rob McNeill of the University of Auckland set out to determine whether patients with no active treatment options were being well served by the appointments they were being asked to keep with their physicians.
The two reviewed nine different studies and found that while mesothelioma and lung cancer patients are hungry for hope, reliable information and a positive relationship with their care team, they find in-person medical appointments too stressful. The authors assert the theory that virtual medical appointments could alleviate some of this stress while still providing the opportunity for updates and dialogue.
Mesothelioma Patients with No Treatment Options Prefer to Avoid Visits
Though many mesothelioma patients are treated with chemotherapy, surgery, radiation therapy, and other protocols, there are some for whom intervention offers no relief. The study explains that expecting patients in such dire condition to repeatedly show up for appointments is an added burden. It suggests they would be better served if offered the chance to speak virtually and get questions answered then to attend follow-up visits to monitor their disease. The researchers also noted that unnecessary visits tax the health system and add expense without offering any survival benefit.
The New Zealand researchers concluded that “further research needs to be conducted, ensuring directed surveillance models that meet the holistic needs of patients” and suggest that virtual medical visits could be designed with input from the patients themselves.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with advanced mesothelioma, it is essential that your treatment plan is well suited to your personal goals and needs. For assistance and access to resources, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608.