Illness Perception of Chinese Colon/GI Cancer Patients

Wednesday, 24 July 2013: 10:30 AM

Fang-yu Chou, PhD, RN
School of Nursing, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to explore the concept of illness perception in cross cultural cancer patients

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to explore the experience of international collaboration

Purpose: Cancer patients' illness perception will affect how they manage and cope with their diseases. It is essential to examine perception of cancer among cross-cultural patients. This paper presents the results of illness perception reported from a sample of Chinese Colon/GI cancer patients in Taiwan.

Methods: Chinese Colon/GI cancer patients (N = 54) were recruited at cancer treatment infusion units of a metropolitan medical center in Northern Taiwan from May to August 2011. The existing Chinese-Traditional version of Illness Perception Questionnaire (IPQ-R) was used in the study. The results were analyzed based on the dimensions of IPQ-R reported by Moss-Morris et al. (2002).

 Results: The average age of the sample was 60 years old (SD = 10.75). Fifty percent of participants were females. About 44% of the sample had college education and above.  Seventy-six percent of the sample was at stage IV and the average length of being first diagnosed with cancer was 16 months. The results showed the dimensions of IPQ-R were reported as timeline (20.67 [SD = 4.32]), consequences (19.11 [SD = 4.08]), timeline cyclical (9.35 [SD = 3.10]), personal control (21.74 [SD = 4.73]), treatment control (17.93 [SD = 3.14]), illness coherence (18.57 [SD = 3.63]), and emotional representation (17.31 [SD = 4.15]). Among the possible causes of illness that participants were asked to how much they agree, the top five items were diet/eating habits, stress/worry, chance/bad luck, own behaviors, and overwork.

 Conclusion: These findings suggested these Chinese/Taiwanese Colon/GI cancer patients perceived cancer as a chronic condition, with moderately negative consequences and low cyclical nature. These findings also suggested these cancer patients reported moderately positive beliefs about the controllability of cancer. Further research can explore interventions to assist Chinese/Taiwanese cancer patients to support them being self-efficacious and promote their quality of life during their cancer treatment and survivorship.