Transition to palliative care for people living with metastatic melanoma: Preliminary findings from a grounded theory study (#590)
Melanoma is the most aggressive form of skin cancer. Five-year survival rates for patients with metastatic melanoma are less than 10%, with a median survival of 6 to 9 months. Despite a number of clinical trials for metastatic melanoma, the treatment options for patients are limited. Palliation is often the main goal of treatment.
This constructivist grounded theory study is seeking to examine how people with metastatic melanoma negotiate the transition to palliative care. The method of sampling is purposive and data have been generated through semi-structured interviews with those with metastatic melanoma and partners. Open, focused and theoretical coding of data from 13 interviews conducted to date has produced analytical concepts that reflect how the transition is negotiated. These concepts depict ways in which individuals interact with a fragmented health care system and how meanings are constructed around the rapid progression of the disease and uncertain treatment decisions.
The preliminary findings reported upon here are being further explored with a larger sample. The findings to date highlight the need for improved coordination of services for those living with metastatic melanoma, and improved support for individuals dealing with uncertainty.