INTRODUCTION/AIMS: Oxaliplatin often causes acute or chronic peripheral neuropathy in patients with an intestinal or pancreatic tumor, but in-depth insights in its influence on quality of life (QoL) are lacking. We explored the influence of acute oxaliplatin-induced peripheral neuropathy (OIPN) on daily QoL in these patients.
METHODS: We performed semistructured interviews with a purposive sample of patients receiving oxaliplatin and possibly experiencing acute OIPN. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim, and coded by two researchers. Data were analyzed by using the constant comparative method for content analysis with ATLAS.ti software.
RESULTS: After nine patients, saturation took place. In total, 11 patients were interviewed. Four themes were extracted from the data: (1) adverse effects, (2) physical (un)well-being, (3) emotional aspects, and (4) treatment aspects. All participants were suffering from acute OIPN to a certain extent, leading to restrictions in daily activities such as household chores, but also to a decrease in mobility and independency. Other adverse effects such as general malaise and gastrointestinal side effects also influenced the participants' well-being, as did the diagnosis and prognosis of their disease.
CONCLUSION: Acute OIPN, together with other side effects of chemotherapeutic treatment and the difficulties that come with the diagnosis of cancer and its prognosis, largely influences patients' daily QoL. Managing expectations (by patient education) seems important.