HOME IS BEST
One thing is for sure, any terminal diagnosis has a painful prognosis. This includes cancer patients, who have to constantly undergo chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy. And in some cases, have very invasive surgery to remove the tumors(s). This means that they basically spend most of their time in a hospital ward.
In 1989, a study was done (McCorkle et al) where patients with progressive lung cancer were divided into two. One group having to spend most of their time in the hospital while the other group used Home-based care. The study showed that while the difference in care did not affect the physical aspects and symptoms of the disease collectively, it found that patients in home-based care were less likely to be distressed and overwhelmed by the psychological aspect of having cancer.
What is Home Based Care?
It is any form of assistance provided to a sick person whilst at home, with the aid of community health experts.
Advantages of Home-Based Care for cancer patients:
1. Studies have shown that patients who have HBC are less likely to have unscheduled hospital visits.
2. The environment is customizable to fit the patient’s comfort or needs.
3. The health care workers are able to minimize treatment side effects.
4. The patient is in control. People tend to thrive while at home due to the reduced risk of psychosocial distress.
In Kenya, HBC has been used mostly with HIV/AIDS patients and has been recently adopted for COVID 19 asymptomatic patients. And since the pandemic does not seem to be going anywhere anytime soon, it might be the high time to adopt the same for Cancer patients. It would be of great relief to families that despite the extremes of cancer, there is still hope. And hope might give them a fighting chance against the disease.
WRITTEN BY IAN MUCHINA(mylife705.home.blog)
EDITED BY DAVID WARUI.