The technologically advanced and specialist nature of the treatments for patients with hematological malignancies necessitate that they are carried out in major metropolitan treating hospitals. Consequently, patients from regional, rural, and remote areas in Queensland, Australia, must relocate, often for lengthy periods of time, for treatment. To date, there has been scant research carried out on what happens to these patients and their families when they return home after such intensive treatments in the metropolitan centers. This article documents recent, seminal work in this area. The findings indicate that these families have many emotional, medical, and practical needs. These needs change over time, depending on the trajectory of the illness.
Director of Research, Center for Palliative Care Research and Education, Brisbane, Australia
My sincere thanks go to Australian Mutual Providence for funding this project, to Jane Meltzer for her work as research assistant for the project, and to Barbara Hartigan (Leukaemia Foundation of Queensland), Beverley Mirilo (Wesley Hospital), and Sue Graham (Children's Leukaemia and Cancer Society) for their suggestions and support during the development of this research.