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Factors that enhance autonomy of cancer patients
Date:3/3/2008

tients in clinically terminal situations), was led by the Professor of the Department of Medicine, Daniel Solano Lpez, and received excellent cum laude.

Ana Mara Martnez Fernndez is a graduate in Medicine from the University of the Basque Country and currently is the domiciliary Palliative Care team doctor for the Spanish Association Against Cancer in area V of Madrid.

The quest for autonomy

The objective of this research, on the one hand, was to study using the monitoring system of terminal cancer patients - the principle of autonomy of these patients: knowing their initial situation, comparing their evolution and analysing the conditioning factors and in which the doctor intervenes directly; also knowing the degree of information about their pathology and any personal factors that also have an influence on them and, finally, knowing the attitude of the people around them. On the other hand, justifiable alternatives were put forward that help in solving any problems detected.

To this end, 126 of the 164 patients attending from January 2003 to June 2004 were studied by the Domiciliary Care Team for Terminal Cancer Patients of the Spanish Association Against Cancer (AECC) in area V of Madrid.

The study carried out enabled knowledge to be gained of aspects not generally taken into account and revealed that cancer patients in clinically terminal situations are capable of exercising autonomy if not limited by the social health environment in which they live. Moreover, they reveal certain physical and mental limitations that do not generally disable them to take decisions. They are limited in the exercise of their autonomy by the scant, if nor deficient or nonexistent information that they initially have about their illness and prognosis. In fact, the become more autonomous after being appropriately informed, . explained.

The work concluded by arguing that a great many of the problems arising in clinical pract
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Contact: Irati Kortabitarte
iratik@elhuyar.com
34-943-363-040
Elhuyar Fundazioa
Source:Eurekalert

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