Lights hanging inside the O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library Center

Demi Adediran

Major: Psychology, minor in Family Studies
Topic: Do I matter, or am I just a name on a chart? Female cancer patients' experiences with their health care
Faculty Mentor:

Dr. Jean Giebenhain

The purpose of the my study was to explore what female musicians, who were 1-5 years post-treatment for breast cancer, had to say about their experience of mattering within the context of their health care. I wanted to see if doctors individualize care to the specific patient or whether it was a one size fits all. What I found was about half of the 38 participants felt as if they mattered to the doctors and the rest felt they did not matter depending on what kind of behavior the doctor exhibited toward them. Behaviors that made the women feel like they mattered included: calling the patient to see how treatments were affecting her, keeping the patient involved in the treatment process and taking in to account how the patient wanted to be treated medically. Patient felt they did not matter when doctors called them to give diagnosis, and did not consider their livelihood during the treatment process. When patients felt they did not matter, they were more likely to switch doctors.

What was your favorite part of the project?

My favorite part of the project was watching everything come together. It was hard to see how things would fit together beginning, but as I progressed, the pieces fell into place. When I started combining the introduction, methods, results and discussion, I was happy to see the end product.

Why did you choose St. Thomas?

I chose St. Thomas because I wanted a school that placed a great emphasis on learning. I didn’t just want to acquire undergraduate knowledge; I wanted a school that would help take me to the next level of graduate school. The class sizes at St. Thomas were also a really big factor for me in choosing to attend this institution. Every student is able to have their opinions heard in a class of 38 as compared to 100 student classes at other universities.