The Significance of the Problem
The problem, variables, population, and hypothesis
The article’s main issue is the existence of financial strains, which affect the quality of life amongst the aged people dying with cancer. The independent variables are the financial burden and cancer, while the dependent variable is the consequences of such strains. The article’s hypothesis states that financial strains reduce the quality of life for aged people dying of cancer.
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Why this article was selected
This article was selected because it gives clear information on how the financial status of an aged individual, who is dying of cancer, affects his/her quality of life. The article highlights a strong relationship between financial wellbeing and quality of life in end-of-life situations for aged people. The article was an eye-opener to me as earlier I could not see the relationship between financial constraints and the quality of life for aged people dying of cancer.
Significance to nursing practice serving an urban family population
This article is significant to nurses serving in the urban family population because it highlights the kind of nursing care that aged people are dying of cancer need. For instance, if an aged person dying of cancer has poor quality life due to financial strain, it means that the status of his/her health will be poor too, which indirectly implies that such person will require nursing care more often as compared to their counterparts living in good health status based on financial stability. Therefore, a nurse serving in this kind of environment, will anticipate the nature of care needed, coupled with the frequency of demand for such services.
Review of Literature
Summary of the approach of the researcher(s) – (i.e., keywords, databases, number of articles)
The researchers used four electronic databases to conduct a systematic search of studies on illness-related financial stress on people dying of cancer. Also, the researchers were interested in determining the prospective patients with terminal cancer and caregivers on the financial burden. Twenty-four papers were used for the literature review using four databases. The keywords included caregivers, socioeconomic factors, terminally ill, terminal care, neoplasms, and family, economics (Hanratty, Holland, Jacoby & Whitehead, 2007).
The theories used in nursing and other fields
The researchers did not use any theories in this paper. However, the family systems theory applies to this research problem. This theory holds that individuals, which in this case are the aged dying of terminal cancer, cannot be understood without studying other family members. This assertion explains why the researchers were interested in learning about the perceptions of the financial burden from caregivers.
Summary of the results of the review of the literature
2764 titles were generated from the searches made, but the researchers chose 24 papers. There were “13 papers from the USA, five from the UK and one each from Australia, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, and Sweden” (Hanratty et al., 2007, p. 597). The studies used had recruited participants from different populations. Also, different research designs and methodologies had been employed during the studies.
Research Procedure and Analysis
The procedure, including the type of study, sampling, data collection, and analysis
The authors conducted searches on four different databases, viz. Web of Science and Scopus, Embase, Medline, and CINAHL and obtained 24 articles, which had been published between 1966 and 2006. This type of study is known as a systematic sampling of studies. The articles were sampled randomly to get the studies that majored in the financial burden on aged individuals who have terminal cancer. The information collected was analyzed by looking at the studies’ findings to determine the correlation between financial strain and quality of life amongst the aged dying of cancer.
Summary of the findings
The findings revealed that 17 to 38 % of cancer patients exhausted all or majority of their savings on health care. Less than 40% of the respondents’ family members had quit their jobs to offer palliative care. African-Americans had more financial strains as compared to their white counterparts from all dimensions. However, the majority of the respondents preferred comfort as opposed to the extension of life due to financial strains. Ultimately, it emerged that aged individuals dying of cancer valued their health more as compared to money. However, money was amongst the first critical concerns of these people.
Strengths and weaknesses of this study and the application to the theoretical foundations of the study
The major weaknesses of this article lie in the studies that were obtained from the databases. For instance, five studies had obtained their participants from the general population as opposed to the palliative care hospice, hence increasing selection bias. Also, most studies had not reported on the socioeconomic status of the participants, which was a key element in this research. The strengths of the study include using reliable databases and many articles for review. The application of the theoretical foundation of this study lies in the fact that financial wellbeing plays a key role in determining to quality of life for aged people dying of cancer.
Implications for Nursing Practice
The usefulness and applicability of the study to nursing practice serving an urban family population
Palliative care providers can use the findings of this research to offer equitable and affordable services to the aged people dying of cancer. The available information shows that individuals with financial constraints may have stress, which affects their wellbeing. This aspect can exacerbate the situation, and thus nurses serving an urban family population can use this information to offer quality care to their clients. Also, policymakers from the nursing practice can use this information to determine areas that need extra funding in a bid to avail quality care to the aged people dying of cancer.
The possible follow-up studies to validate or to build on this study
Follow-up studies should focus on analyzing articles that explore the socioeconomic wellbeing of the participants. Also, future studies should focus on the quality of life for individuals dying of cancer, but with financial stability for comparison with the findings of this study.
Hanratty, B., Holland, P., Jacoby, A., & Whitehead, M. (2007). Financial stress and strain associated with Terminal cancer–a review of the evidence. Palliative Medicine, 21, 595-607.