Efficacy of Health Care Model for End-stage Liver Cancer Patients Using Thai Traditional Medicine in Thai Traditional Medical Hospitals, Thailand

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Sunpong Ritthiruksa
Preecha Nootim
Rutchanee Chantraket
Amornrat Rachderm

Abstract

This research, using one-group pretest-posttest quasi-experimental design, aimed to develop a health-care model using Thai Traditional Medicine (TTM) for end-stage liver cancer patients in Thai Traditional Medical Hospitals. The study was conducted during June–August 2018 in five hospitals: (1) Thai Traditional and Integrated Medicine Hospital, (2) U Thong Hospital, (3) Watthana Nakhon Hospital, (4) Khun Han Hospital, and (5) Sawang Daen Din Crown Prince Hospital. The study involved three groups of participants, selected according to the inclusion criteria: group 1, 55 multidisciplinary health-care providers; group 2, 30 end-stage liver cancer patients; and group 3, 30 primary caregivers. Data collection tools were a feasibility assessment form on health-care model implementation by health-care providers, an illness-related distress assessment form, and a satisfaction questionnaire for all three groups. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and a comparison of distress scores with the outcomes of care (paired t-test).  The results showed that the health-care providers strongly agreed on the feasibility of TTM-based end-stage liver cancer care model implementation; and the model could solve patients’ problems and was beneficial to them at the highest level. The health-care providers’ satisfaction with the cancer care was significantly higher after model development at p = 0.05. The levels of patients’ and their caregivers’ satisfaction with the TTM services were also highest (mean scores 4.38, SD 0.46 and 4.22, SD 0.38, respectively). The health-care providers’ satisfaction was at a high level (mean score 4.12, SD 0.18). The study has demonstrated that the model can be implemented for end-stage liver cancer patients in the target population. However, a clinical outcome study to evaluate the efficacy of the model should be further carried out.

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