Patient perceptions of the impact of treatment (surgery and radiotherapy) for soft tissue sarcoma

Lauren Hewitt, Rachael Powell, Kaan Zenginer, Catherine Coyle, Helen Murray, Lisa Cooper, Jonathan Gregory

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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 (pre-operative or post-operative 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, 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.
Original languageEnglish
Article number9581781
Number of pages8
Early online date23 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Cancer
  • Sarcoma
  • Surgery
  • Radiotherapy
  • Adaptation
  • psychological
  • Qualitative

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Manchester Cancer Research Centre


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