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Impacts of Cancer on Mental Health

Info: 1150 words (5 pages) Nursing Literature Review
Published: 24th Sep 2020

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Tagged: cancermental health


Nursing is not only a field many prospective students choose and love, but it is also a field that is considered to have a downside to it. As any health care professional may know, becoming apart of the healthcare field produces a lot of stress and effects to your mental health. There are two articles that are going to be discussed in this paper. The research conducted by Fraser, Chapman, Brown, Whiteford, and Burton (2015) was qualitative. The research conducted by Millman, Galway, Santin, and Reid, (2016) was quantitative. Nurses have gone through an extensive amount of education to be able to provide thorough health care to patients in dire need of medical attention.

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The purpose of Fraser et al.’s (2015) research was to provide information on how physicians, doctors, nurses, and researchers helped patients cope with these difficult conditions pertaining to cancer and serious mental illnesses. Cancer and serious mental illness are diseases that have started to take over the community. Millman et al. (2016) designed a qualitative study using approximately 36 semi-structured interviews. These interviews allowed the doctors to conduct research to find ways to help adults cope with cancer and provide services for adults with mental illness. Findings of this article will allow other health care professionals to implement these practices into their everyday care for their patients.

The purpose of Millman et al.’s (2016) research is to provide quantitative studies on how physical activity into a patient’s every day routine is essential. The life expectancy of adults with mental illness is significantly less than that of the general population (Millman et al. 2016). Physical activity has been shown to consistently improve in the prevention and management of chronic conditions (Millman et al., 2016). The physical activity that was encouraged by the doctors was walking, activities done at home, outdoors, and scheduled sessions.

Search Strategy

Fraser, Chapman, Brown, Whiteford, and Burton (2015) was found by using an Allied Health and Nursing database. The keywords used were journal article, nursing, peer-reviewed, and mental health. The search was limited to make sure it was an original journal, full length, and published from 2014 – 2019. Millman, Galway, Santin, and Reid, (2016) was also found by using an Allied Health and Nursing database. The keywords used were journal article, nursing, inpatient management, peer-reviewed, and mental health. The search was limited to make sure it was an original journal, full-length, and published from 2014 – 2019. 

Research Methods

Millman et al. (2016) conducted around 36 interviews that involved participants’ experiences and ascertain emergent themes. Face-to-face interviews lasting approximated one hour and location is decided by the participants. The interviews scheduled consist of not only discussing the patient’s symptoms, but also the interviewer interviews their significant others on how they’re doing with the caregiving role. Some of the points discussed during the interview with the patient are their mental health history, their experience of cancer and cancer treatment, their priorities before, during, and after treatment and their perceptions of healthcare professionals. (Millman et al. 2016)

Fraser et al. (2015) conducted a cross-sectional study on inpatient adults that were once in a private psychiatric hospital. During the recruitment process, the study was set out in two sessions over an eight-month period. There was a certain criterion that was followed in order to make sure the patient’s eligibility. The criteria were that it was a psychiatric diagnosis, not experiencing acute psychotic symptoms, not acutely suicidal, and no under an involuntary treatment order. All patients were asked to indicate on a 10-point Likert scale how interested they were in doing physical activity as an inpatient. (Fraser et al. 2015)


Millman et al. (2016) found appropriate framework analysis for practice-oriented findings that would be a key point in formulating data amongst the 36 interviews conducted. Analysis focuses more on the way the interviewees interpret their interactions with themselves more than their interactions with other and other social relationships. Researchers made sure to follow the protocol when it came to securing the information discussed in each interview because the information discussed is sensitive. Interviews came to a halt when patients showed signs of distress and do not proceed until the patient is ready and the interviewer confident in the participant. The data collected will then be used to formulate vague charts, with limited information due to the confidentiality agree signed by the participants.

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About 758 patients were available to participant in the study and met the eligibility requirements. When it came to advance in the study, those that were eligible, 99 could not be contacted due to prior appointments with their health care professionals or being on leave from the hospital. Which left only 177 patients being able to participate in the study. (Fraser et al. 2015) The data collected was only on 101 patients because of them still being patients in the hospital and the remaining were discharged which resulted in them not being able to participate. “The most common diagnosis was a depressive disorder (61%) and 68% of the participants had a high level of psychological distress.” (Fraser et al. 2015)


Being apart of the healthcare field, researchers found it essential to dig deeper into serious mental health conditions and cancer to be able to better provide care for them and their caregiver. Millman et al.’s (2016) research was able to provide education, practice and policies to health care professionals in hopes they could better support significant others with care techniques when it comes to the patients. The study focused on the physical and psychiatric illness some patients were experiencing and study showed that physical activity was beneficial in reducing the stress some patients were under.


  • Fraser, S. J., Chapman, J. J., Brown, W. J., Whiteford, H. A., & Burton, N. W. (2015). Physical activity attitudes and preferences among inpatient adults with mental illness. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 24(5), 413-420. doi:10.1111/inm.12158
  • Millman, J., Galway, K., Santin, O., & Reid, J. (2016). Cancer and serious mental illness – patient, caregiver and professional perspectives: Study protocol. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 72(1), 217-226. doi:10.1111/jan.12812 


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Everyone experiences emotional ups and downs from time to time caused by certain events in our lives. Mental health related conditions go beyond these emotional reactions to specific situations. They are medical conditions that cause changes in how we think and feel and within our mood.

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