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The Jitmetta Mercy Foundation for Cancer Patients of Thailand (JFCT), located in Petchaburi province, has offered cancer treatments using Thai traditional medicine for more than 30 years. The objective of this article is to identify factors influencing cancer patients’ decision for treatment at the JFCT, treatment results and the patient’s quality of life.
The research utilized quantitative and qualitative research methods, using structured questionnaires and in-depth interviews. Data was collected from 408 patients who voluntarily participated in the research project and passed its selection criteria. Descriptive statistics, chi-square and Pearson’s Product Moment Correlation Coefficient were used to analyze data and relationship between variables.
Findings show that most patients have no prior experience with herbal medicine treatment, however, they have positive attitudes towards herbal medicine and have a strong confidence in doctors and practitioners. The most influenced persons are former patients who completely recover or get much better from the treatment; the second most influenced persons are the patient themselves and their families. The patient’s quality of life in the aspects of physical and mental health, social relations and environmental quality is medium. Two personal factors affecting the patient’s quality of life (p < 0.05) are income and cancer type. Patients with breast and liver cancers are the largest group at the JFCT while lymphoma patients achieve the highest survival rate during the six-month research. To improve the patient’s quality of life, the participation of family in every stage of treatment is recommended.
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