[The situation of radiation oncology patients' relatives. A stocktaking].
ABSTRACT Recent studies have shown a very high importance of relatives in decisions about medical interventions. Therefore, the situation of this group was investigated in the sense of a stocktaking by interviewing the closest relatives of radiotherapy patients. INTERVIEWED PERSONS AND METHODS: In a defined span of time (6 weeks), a total of 470 relatives (evaluable: n = 287, 61%) of radiotherapy patients were interviewed by a newly developed questionnaire about their contentment with their inclusion in the therapy course. Further, they gave information about specific needs of relatives as well as proposals for direct improvements in the context of a radiation therapy.
In total, the relatives were satisfied with their inclusion in the radiotherapy course and with the patient care. As an example, more than 95% of the relatives agreed with the statement "Here in the hospital my ill relative is cared for well." Nevertheless, direct possibilities for improvements were found in the interdisciplinary information about oncologic topics and in the organization of the therapy course.
In the stocktaking the situation of radiotherapy patients' relatives was generally satisfactory. Further improvements for the future can be expected mainly from interdisciplinary cancer centers having the best suppositions to care for the relatives, if necessary. Structures known from palliative care can be used as a model.