The experience of low grade and pituitary tumours

Dawson, Benjamin and Weatherhead, Stephen and Wall, Gemma (2015) The experience of low grade and pituitary tumours. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

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Low grade brain tumours make up approximately 45% of all brain tumour diagnoses each year in the UK, of which 10% are pituitary tumours. People with low grade and pituitary tumours can experience a wide range of physical, psychological and cognitive difficulties. Studies have reported mixed results in regard to the extent and cause of psychological and cognitive difficulties. However, qualitative research has highlighted the need for a greater understanding of the experience of low grade and pituitary tumours, in order to provide best care and support.In section one, studies with information regarding the psychological and emotional wellbeing of people with primary low grade brain tumours were systematically reviewed. A total of 14 papers were identified, and a meta-synthesis approach was utilised. The results highlighted significant psychological and emotional turmoil for people with a primary low grade brain tumour. Results demonstrated that the low grade morphology of a brain tumour does not diminish the overall distress in comparison with high grade tumours, though the focus on mortality was less constant. Findings demonstrated the need for significant psychological support for people with a low grade brain tumour, and further potential research was discussed. Section two explored the experiences of people with a history of pituitary tumour in regard to cognitive difficulties and neuropsychological testing. Individual interviews were conducted, and analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Results revealed cognitive functioning as an underlying source of distress during pituitary tumour care and showed how neuropsychological testing can be beneficial. Clinical implications and potential future research were discussed. Section three was used to reflect on a variety of issues which arose during the research process, and to reflect on the results and implications of the research study.

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Thesis (PhD)
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18 Dec 2018 10:55
Last Modified:
22 Jul 2024 00:36