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Current Oncology is published by MDPI from Volume 28 Issue 1 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher in Open Access under a CC-BY (or CC-BY-NC-ND) licence, and they are hosted by MDPI on mdpi.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Multimed Inc..
Article

Experiences of Canadian Oncologists with Difficult Patient Deaths and Coping Strategies Used

1
Department of Public Health, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel
2
Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
3
Baruch Ivcher School of Psychology, Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya, Israel
4
Division of Medical Oncology and Hematology, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network, Toronto, ON, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Curr. Oncol. 2017, 24(4), 277-284; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.24.3527
Received: 8 May 2017 / Revised: 5 June 2017 / Accepted: 10 July 2017 / Published: 1 August 2017
Objectives: We aimed to explore and identify what makes patient death more emotionally difficult for oncologists and how oncologists cope with patient death. Methods: A convenience sample of 98 Canadian oncologists (50 men, 48 women) completed an online survey that included a demographics section and a section about patient death. Results: More than 80% of oncologists reported that patient age, long-term management of a patient, and unexpected disease outcomes contributed to difficult patient loss. Other factors included the doctor–patient relationship, identification with the patient, caregiver-related factors, oncologist-related factors, and “bad deaths.” Oncologists reported varying strategies to cope with patient death. Most prevalent was peer support from colleagues, including nurses and other oncologists. Additional strategies included social support, exercise and meditation, faith, vacations, and use of alcohol and medications. Conclusions: Oncologists listed a number of interpersonal and structural factors that make patient death challenging for them to cope with. Oncologists reported a number of coping strategies in responding to patient death, including peer support, particularly from nursing colleagues. No single intervention will be suitable for all oncologists, and institutions wishing to help their staff cope with the emotional difficulty of patient loss should offer a variety of interventions to maximize the likelihood of oncologist participation.
Keywords: oncologists; well-being; coping; patient death oncologists; well-being; coping; patient death
MDPI and ACS Style

Granek, L.; Barbera, L.; Nakash, O.; Cohen, M.; Krzyzanowska, M.K. Experiences of Canadian Oncologists with Difficult Patient Deaths and Coping Strategies Used. Curr. Oncol. 2017, 24, 277-284. https://doi.org/10.3747/co.24.3527

AMA Style

Granek L, Barbera L, Nakash O, Cohen M, Krzyzanowska MK. Experiences of Canadian Oncologists with Difficult Patient Deaths and Coping Strategies Used. Current Oncology. 2017; 24(4):277-284. https://doi.org/10.3747/co.24.3527

Chicago/Turabian Style

Granek, L., L. Barbera, O. Nakash, M. Cohen, and M.K. Krzyzanowska. 2017. "Experiences of Canadian Oncologists with Difficult Patient Deaths and Coping Strategies Used" Current Oncology 24, no. 4: 277-284. https://doi.org/10.3747/co.24.3527

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