A Counseling Room Approach to Improve the Quality of Life of Cervical Cancer Patients at an Apex Hospital of North India

Amudeep Singh, Vanita Suri, Sushmita Ghoshal, Sukhpal Kaur, Amarjeet Singh


Background: Cancer is a dreaded disease, feared by most. Cervical cancer in particular is more distressing as the organs involved are associated with femininity, sexuality and fertility. Once a woman is diagnosed with cervical cancer she has to face physical, psychosocial consequences as well as side effects of therapy. Quality of life on a whole is disturbed. This can be improved through counseling. However the wellness aspect of such patients has been ignored. In crowded Gynecology/Radiotherapy OPDs, doctors are not in a position to optimally counsel cancer patients. This compromises the quality of care. Therapy-related queries of patients and caregivers may remain unanswered. Objectives: To develop and validate a counseling protocol for cervical cancer patients and their caregivers. Methods: Pattern and profile of gynecological cancers was determined by taking retrospective data of five years (2012–2016). An information booklet was developed to counsel cancer patients and their care givers through review of literature and pilot surveys. Problems faced by cervical cancer patients (n=10) during and after treatment were noted. Case studies (using semi-structured interview schedules) were done until saturated responses were obtained. The booklet was then validated by expert judges (n=10) and patients. Results: At PGIMER, a total of 3973 patients (2012–2016) of gynecological cancers got admitted. Majority patients were of cervical cancer (63%). A definite information gap was seen amongst cervical cancer patients and their care givers. Based on these findings, it was decided to provide information to them in a special counseling room (using information booklet) where their queries were successfully resolved. Conclusion: There is an urgent need to establish a special room in hospitals where cancer patients and their care givers can be counseled to improve their quality of life. 


Full Text:



WHO. World Cancer Report. Geneva, Switzerland: WHO 2014.

American Cancer Society. Global Cancer Facts & Figures 3rd Edition. Atlanta: American Cancer Society 2015.

Takiar R, Nadayil D, Nandakumar A. Projections of number of cancer cases in India (2010-2020) by cancer groups. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 2010; 11(4): 1045-49. 4. WHO. Fact Sheets Cancer. Geneva, Switzerland: WHO 2015.

India. Chandigarh. Cancer Incidence and Mortality in Chandigarh Union Territory, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research. 2013. 6. ICMR. Consolidated Report of the Hospital Based Cancer Registries. Bengaluru, India. ICMR 2016. 7. Foundation for Women’s Cancer - [Internet]. Foundation for Women’s Cancer. 2016 [cited 22 Aug 2016]. Available from: http://www.foundationforwomenscancer.org/.

TNM Classification of Malignant Tumor [Internet]. 7th ed. Union for International Cancer Control. 2011 [cited 29 August 2016]. Available from: http://www.uicc.rg/sites/main/files/private/TNM_Classification_of_ Malignant_Tumours_Website_15%20MAy2011.pdf.

Schofield P, Juraskova I, Bergin R et al. A nurse- and peerled support program to assist women in gynaecological oncology receiving curative radiotherapy, the PeNTAGOn study (Peer and nurse support trial to assist women in gynaecological oncology): study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials 2013; 14(1): 39.

Reis N, Beji N, Coskun A. Quality of life and sexual functioning in gynecological cancer patients: Results from quantitative and qualitative data. Eur J Oncol Nurs 2010; 14(2): 137-46.

Steginga SK, Dunn J. Women’s experiences following treatment for gynecologic cancer. Oncology Nursing Forum 1997; 24: 1403-08.

Lutgendorf S, Anderson B, Ullrich P et al. Quality of life and mood in women with gynecologic cancer. Cancer 2001; 94(1): 131-40.

Juraskova I, Butow P, Robertson R et al. Posttreatment sexual adjustment following cervical cancer and endometrial cancer: A qualitative insight. Psycho Oncology 2003; 12: 267-79.

Wilmoth MC, Botchway P. Psychosexual implications of breast and gynecologic cancer. Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology 1997; 17: 631-36.

Miller BE, Pittman B, Strong C. Gynecologic cancer patients’ psychosocial needs and their views on the physician’s role in meeting those needs. International Journal of Gynecological Cancer 2003; 13: 111-19.

Ferrell BR, Dow KH, Grant M. Measurement of the quality of life in cancer survivors. Quality of Life Research 1995; 4: 523-31.

Bodurka-Bevers D, Basen Enquist K, Carmack CL et al. Depression, anxiety, and quality of life in patients with epithelial ovarian cancer. Gynecologic Oncology 2000; 78: 302-08.

Dow KH, Melancon CH. Quality of life in women with ovarian cancer. Western Journal of Nursing Research 1997; 19: 334-50. 19. Sharma R, Dhaliwal LK, Suri V et al. Implementing a life cycle approach through establishment of a multi purpose behaviour therapy room in PGIMER, Chandigarh for enhancing the fitness level of women. 2017; 51(3): 115-22.

Tahmasebi M, Yarandi F, Eftekhar Z et al. Quality of life in gynecologic cancer patients. Asian Pacific J Cancer Prev 2007; 8(1): 591-92.

Kumbhaj P, Sharma R, Bhatnagar A. Quality of life and sexual functioning in cervical cancer survivors after surgery and radiotherapy. Fertil Steril 2013; 100(3): S67.

Petersen R, Quinlivan J. Preventing anxiety and depression in gynaecological cancer: A randomised controlled trial. BJOG: Int J Obstet Gynaecol 2002; 109(4): 386-94.

Pitceathly C, Maguire P, Fletcher I et al. Can a brief psychological intervention prevent anxiety or depressive disorders in cancer patients? A randomised controlled trial. Annals of Oncology 2009; 20(5): 928-34.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Comments on this article

View all comments

Copyright (c) 2018 International Journal of Preventive, Curative & Community Medicine (ISSN: 2454-325X)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.