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Distress associated with attendance at a radiotherapy department was assessed in 80 consecutive patients. All patients were interviewed within 24 h of their first fraction of radiotherapy; 31 patients were also interviewed at the end of treatment. The problem identified at first interview as causing the most distress was worry about the effects of disease and its treatment upon the patient's family. At second interview the dominant complaint was of not being allowed to wash. Psychological problems, including anxiety and sleep disturbances, caused more overall distress than did physical symptoms. The method used in this study for eliciting information on the side-effects of therapy is straightforward and has yielded data that are provocative and suggest interesting avenues for further investigation.


Journal article


Br J Cancer

Publication Date





370 - 374


Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Anxiety, Attitude to Health, Humans, Middle Aged, Neoplasms, Patients, Radiotherapy