Contributo para a compreensão da vivência emocional da doença oncológica num serviço de Cuidados Paliativos

  • Sónia Soares de Sousa (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The oncological disease is the second leading cause of death in Portugal (25758 Portuguese people died in 2012) and tends to become the leading cause (INE, 2014). In the terminal stage of the cancer, Palliative Care arises with the purpose of improving the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of identification, assessment and treatment of pain and other physical, psychosocial and spiritual problems (WHO, 2002). The emotional intervention in these populations in advanced disease situation, their effectiveness, assessment instruments and research, are underexplored and have only a few decades of history (Pujol, 2003). Thus, the present study intends to be one contribution to bridging the difficulties of psycho-oncological, with the following research questions: "How do patients describe the emotional experience of the cancer?" and "What do dimensions of oncological diseases are associated with emotional experience?" Interviews were held with 7 advanced cancer patients oriented by a semi-structured guide at the Palliative Care Service. Data analysis was based on the principles of Grounded Theory and resorted to Nvivo9 Software. The results demonstrated that the disease presents positive impact (union of the couple) and negative impact (dependency) in the patient. Along the way of disease, we can see emotional variations according to different stages, from the search of the diagnosis until the terminal stage, showing various feelings such as sadness, fear and defeat. We verify that this experience is influenced by several factors such as: the knowledge of the disease, the way how face it, the perception of the severity, the lack of control, vulnerability, dependence, survival expectations and meanings about the disease. Therefore, the emotional experience is influenced by physical, emotional/relational, social, economic, existential and spiritual dimension.
Date of Award21 Jul 2014
Original languagePortuguese
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorMaria Elisa Pina Tomás Veiga (Supervisor)


  • Oncological disease
  • Palliative care
  • Emotional experience
  • Terminal stage
  • Dimensions of the disease


  • Mestrado em Psicologia

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