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How are Cancer Treatment Recommendations and Decisions Reached with/ For older adults with dementia?


Cook, PS and McCarthy, A, How are Cancer Treatment Recommendations and Decisions Reached with/ For older adults with dementia?, Program abstracts, 29 August - 1 September 2018, sydney, pp. 157. (2018) [Conference Extract]

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In healthcare, health risk assessments are influenced by technical ‘objective’ measurements of the physical body and disease; the values that underlie professional practices; the organisations healthcare professionals work for; and subjective belief systems of individual healthcare professionals. As a result, cancer treatments prescribed for older adults can be tempered by personal views about a patient’s age and other health conditions or comorbidities that they may have. Drawing from interviews undertaken with nine key staff members in a large cancer service, we examine how treatment recommendations and decisions are determined when older adults with cancer also have dementia; two health conditions more common in older age. This exposes that healthcare workers and professionals view dementia in diverse ways, which are influenced by subjective understandings of the older adult’s lived experiences of dementia and ageing. These beliefs serve to influence and guide how cancer treatment recommendations and decisions for older people with dementia are reached. This process is further layered with power, whereby the ability to influence such decisions are tempered by one’s professional status and their associated understandings of autonomy (individual versus relational). As a result, this exposes the multifaceted influences on treatment decisions and recommendations, including social constructions of health, illness, and age.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:ageing, ageism, cancer, dementia, cancer treatment, cancer pathways, power, medical dominance, autonomy, dementia, comorbid cancer with dementia
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Social change
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:Cook, PS (Dr Peta Cook)
ID Code:128199
Year Published:2018
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2018-09-07
Last Modified:2018-09-10

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