Clinical Research Papers:

Crossing the perspectives of patients, families, and physicians on cancer treatment: A qualitative study

Massimiliano Orri _, Jordan Sibeoni, Guilhem Bousquet, Mathilde Labey, Juliette Gueguen, Cyril Laporte, Sabine Winterman, Camille Picard, Clara Nascimbeni, Laurence Verneuil and Anne Revah-Levy

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:22113-22122. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.12770

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Massimiliano Orri1,2,*, Jordan Sibeoni1,2,*, Guilhem Bousquet3,4,5,6, Mathilde Labey1,2, Juliette Gueguen7, Cyril Laporte8,9, Sabine Winterman6, Camille Picard10,11, Clara Nascimbeni10,11, Laurence Verneuil10,11 and Anne Revah-Levy1,2

1 Service Universitaire de Psychiatrie de l’Adolescent, Argenteuil Hospital Centre, Argenteuil, France

2 ECSTRA Team, UMR-1153, Inserm, Paris Diderot University, Sorbonne Paris Cite, Paris, France

3 Université Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Laboratoire de Pathologie, UMR-S 1165, Paris, France

4 INSERM, U1165-Paris, France

5 Université Paris 1, Léonard de Vinci, Villetaneuse, France

6 AP-HP-Hôpital Avicenne, Service d’Oncologie Médicale–Bobigny, Bobigny, France

7 Ecole Doctorale E420, Paris Saclay University, Paris, France

8 Centre de Cancérologie Paris Nord, Sarcelles, France

9 Recherche Innovation Santé Sarcelles, Sarcelles, France

10 Department of Dermatology, CHRU Caen, Caen, France

11 Caen Basse Normandie University, Caen, France

* These authors have contributed equally to this article

** These authors are co-senior authors

Correspondence to:

Massimiliano Orri, email:

Keywords: patient-centered care, quality of life, care, qualitative study, crossed perspectives

Received: June 11, 2016 Accepted: October 13, 2016 Published: October 19, 2016


Purpose. Patients, family members, and physicians participate in cancer care, but their perspectives about what is helpful during cancer treatment have rarely been compared. The aim of this study was to compare these three perspectives.

Methods. Multicenter qualitative study (with previously published protocol) based on 90 semi-structured interviews. Participants (purposively selected until data saturation) came from three different subsamples: (i) patients with cancer (n=30), (ii) their relatives (n=30), and (iii) their referring physicians (n=10, interviewed more than once).

Results. Our analysis found 3 main axes (perceived positive effects of cancer treatment, perceived negative effects of cancer treatment, doctor-physician relationship), each composed of 2 main themes. The findings showed that patients, families, and physicians shared the long-term objective of increasing survival (while reducing side effects). However, patients and relatives also pointed out the importance of living with cancer each day and thus of factors helping them to live as well as possible in daily life. The physicians’ difficulty in coping with patients’ suffering may limit their access to elements that can improve patients’ capacity to live as well as possible.

Conclusions. During cancer treatment (and not only at the end of life), attention should be given to enhancing the capacity of patients to live as well as possible (not only as long as possible) to meet the goals of patient-centered care and satisfy this important need of patients and families.

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