br In addition as explained by
In addition, as explained by previous research, patients' perceptions may be confounded by individual characteristics such as gender and marital status (Rose, 2018), the patients’ culture and ethnic origin (Astrow et al., 2018; Radwin et al., 2013), the type of cancer and treatment characteristics (Rose, 2018). For example, Rose (2018) found significantly higher perceptions of individualized care for male com-pared to female patients, partnered patients compared to single ones and patients not receiving chemotherapy compared to chemotherapy patients. The above diﬀerences may be attributed to gender diﬀerences regarding perceptions of care (Rose, 2016), more supportive partners within relationships (Rizalar et al., 2014), and severity of treatment with chemotherapy that renders patients more irritated and anxious (Shin, 2014). Moreover, Astrow et al. (2018) in a study with 727 ra-cially/ethnically and religiously diverse patients found significantly diﬀerent perceptions of quality of care and satisfaction among white, Hispanic, black and Asian patients.
In addition, the results of this study demonstrated that the partici-pants' views on how their individuality was supported in Cypriot hos-pitals were average. In contrast, according to Rose (2018), in Australian hospitals the participants in her study showed moderate to high levels of perceived support of their individuality. It has to be noted though that the diﬀerent views between the patients of the above and this study may be related to the type of treatment that the participants received. Thus, contrarily to the participants in this study, all participants in Rose's (2018) study were treated with radiation, which renders inter-action with nurses more frequent; as a result, better relationships be-tween Taxol patients and nurses are more likely, which may lead to tailored to the patients' needs care and, consequently, increased support of individuality (Rose and Yates, 2013).
Likewise, a higher perceived level of support for individuality and receipt of individualized care was found in studies with Swedish (Suhonen et al., 2018) and Canadian (Jacobsen et al., 2015) patients. Compared to the perceptions of the participants of this study, it may be assumed that more eﬀorts should be made in order to maximize in-dividualized oncology nursing care in Cyprus, as a right and a basic need of all patients with cancer. To this end, it is important to fre-quently assess both the actions of nursing personnel and the patients' perceptions of being individually noticed and care for. In fact, patients’ perceptions may be a quite accurate indicator of individuality in health care, since the above perceptions are based on personal experience (Coyle, 2014; Ferrell et al., 2013).
On the other hand, according to the participants in this study, quality of oncology nursing care was high regarding three dimensions of care, i.e. “being supported and confirmed”, “being respected” and “having a sense of belonging”. Compared to a study that was conducted in three European countries by Charalambous et al. (2017), with a total sample of 610 patients from Cyprus, Greece and Czech Republic, it was found that “being supported and confirmed” had a high score in all countries. The above high score reflects the important role of char-acteristics such as communication, expression of interest, empathy, promptly response, comprehensive information, competence and re-spect, which oncology nurses ought to demonstrate during their inter-action with the patients (Charalambous et al., 2017; Peppercorn et al.,
M. Kousoulou, et al.
Correlations between ICS-A, ICS-B and QONCS scales and subscales.
ICS-A: The ICS-A- ICS-A- ICS-A- ΙCS-B ΙCS-B- ICS-B- ICS-B- QONCS: Being QONCS: Being QONCS: QONCS: QONCS: Being
Support of Clinical Personal life Decision -Individuality of Clinical Personal life Decision supported and cared religiously Sense of Being valued
Individuality Situation situation control care received Situation situation Control confirmed and spiritually Belonging respected
ICS-A: The Support of 1
in Care Received
M. Kousoulou, et al.
2011). According to a study by Kersey-Matusiak (2012), being cared for by competent, supportive and aware nurses is important for patients with cancer because such practice makes the patients feel safe. In ad-dition, the necessity of being supported and confirmed was emphasized by every participant in Jacobsen's et al. (2015) study, because of making them feel that they were someone worthy and giving them the courage to fight the disease.