Childhood leukaemia survivors' experiences of long-term follow-ups in an endocrine clinic – A focus-group study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The survival rate after childhood cancer has improved markedly and today more than 80% of patients will survive. Many childhood cancer survivors suffer from late complications due to radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Survivors of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL), treated with cranial radiotherapy, are at a particularly high risk of having endocrine complications. Purpose To illuminate childhood ALL survivors’ experiences of a long-term follow-up in an endocrine clinic. Method Data collection carried out using semi-structured focus-group interviews. Fifteen ALL survivors were included in the study, divided into 4 groups. Data was analysed with conventional qualitative content analysis. Results The survivors' experiences were captured in the theme: “The need for understanding and support in order to manage daily life”. An understanding of their situation, as well as support for managing daily life was fundamental. Lack of understanding and support from the community was connected with a fear for the future. The follow-up at the endocrine clinic was shown to be crucial for increasing the survivors’ understanding of late complications. The past feeling of being out of control was replaced with an increased self-confidence. Conclusion Many leukaemia survivors experienced their daily lives as a struggle and as a complicated issue to cope with. The theme “understanding and support to manage daily life” mirrors how the survivors are in need of knowledge and support in order to handle and understand their complex situation after surviving leukaemia. Offering understanding and support with a holistic approach, may be a way in which to strengthen the survivors’ health.

Details

Authors
External organisations
  • Skåne University Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cancer and Oncology
  • Nursing

Keywords

  • Childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, Endocrine clinic, Focus group, Late complications, Long-term follow-up
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-26
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Oncology Nursing
Volume26
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Feb 1
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes
Externally publishedYes