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Volume 2019, Article ID 9581781, 8 pages
Research Article

Patient Perceptions of the Impact of Treatment (Surgery and Radiotherapy) for Soft Tissue Sarcoma

1School of Health Sciences & Manchester Centre for Health Psychology, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
2The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK
3Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK
4The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK
5Molecular and Clinical Cancer Sciences, School of Medical Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK

Correspondence should be addressed to Lauren Hewitt;

Received 26 October 2018; Revised 21 December 2018; Accepted 6 January 2019; Published 23 January 2019

Academic Editor: Akira Kawai

Copyright © 2019 Lauren Hewitt et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background and Objectives. Treatment for soft tissue sarcoma (STS) is challenging for patients. This study aimed to gain an in-depth understanding of patients’ experiences of STS treatment, including whether the sequence of treatment (preoperative or postoperative radiotherapy) influences patient perceptions. Methods. Face-to-face semi-structured interviews were conducted with nineteen patients who had been treated for STS with surgery and radiotherapy between 2011 and 2016. Topics discussed included perceptions of treatment, social support, and coping mechanisms. Qualitative, inductive, thematic analysis was conducted and structured using the Framework approach. Results. Treatment sequence itself did not appear to cause concern, but uncertainty regarding treatment and side effects could negatively impact participants. Social relationships and individual coping strategies influenced participants’ experiences of treatment. Conclusions. Participants’ perceptions of the treatment process varied; the experience was highly individual. It is important to ensure individual psychosocial and information needs are met. In particular, the removal of uncertainty regarding treatment is important in supporting patients undergoing treatment for soft tissue sarcoma.