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Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine (IBME)

Giovanni Spitale received a grant from Krebsforschung Schweiz for a research project on adolescents and young adults with a hemato-oncological disease

Krebsforschung Schweiz is supporting with a generous grant the research work of Giovanni Spitale on the experiences of adolescents and young adults with a hemato-oncological disease.

Many cancer patients need to make difficult decisions regarding their medical care. Hemato-oncological patients, in particular, find themselves confronted with complex choices connected with personal life or springing from the medical condition in itself. The relationship with the persons that care for them gains special relevance under these circumstances. How decision-making processes are shaped within these relationships can have an important effect on the quality of care. 

This project focuses on young hemato-oncological patients (age 15-34, ICD-10: C81, C82-86, C96, C90, C91-95, C91, C92-94) because the number of choices they have to make and their impact is relevant, and because young people are generally more embedded in a relational context, primarily with the family. Moreover, little is known in literature about how they perceive the decision-making processes, what informational and supportive needs they have, and what they value or miss in their care relationship. 

A mixed methods approach will explore the experiences of the target population, with a focus on care relationships and decision-making processes. The study will probe which supportive needs patients perceive and how (well) they are currently addressed. Selected interview materials of the qualitative part will be used for the development of a narrative-based support tool.

This study is part of the framework.