Reflecting a crisis reaction: Narratives from patients with oesophageal cancer about the first 6 months after diagnosis and surgery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Aim: The aim of the study was to describe patients' experiences of emotional adaption following treatment for oesophageal cancer from diagnosis to 6 months after surgery. Design: A qualitative interview study using an inductive approach was carried out. Methods: Participants were recruited from two university hospitals in Sweden. Ten patients who had been operated for oesophageal cancer with curative intent 6 months earlier and consented to participate in the study were included. Patients who had a disease recurrence were not eligible for inclusion. Participants were interviewed with a semi-structured interview approach. Data were analysed using qualitative content analysis. Results: One overarching theme was identified; Experiencing a crisis reaction, which comprised three key categories; (a) From emotionally numb to feeling quite alright; (b) From a focus on cure to reflections about a whole new life; and (c) From a severe treatment to suffering an emaciated, non-compliant body, derived from 14 distinct sub-categories. Conclusion: This study highlights the process of emotional adaptation following oesophageal cancer surgery that patients describe when reflecting back on the first 6 months postoperatively pointing to a crisis reaction in this early postoperative period.


External organisations
  • Skåne University Hospital
  • Karolinska Institutet
  • Uppsala University
  • Regional Cancer Center Stockholm - Gotland
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy
  • Nursing
  • Surgery


  • adaptation, interviews, nurses, nursing, oesophageal cancer, qualitative
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1471-1480
JournalNursing Open
Issue number4
Early online date2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch