Striving towards normality in an unpredictable situation. A qualitative interview study of how persons newly diagnosed with incurable oesophageal and gastric cancer manage everyday life

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Sammanfattning

Purpose: Getting an incurable oesophageal or gastric cancer diagnosis is a major stressful life event associated with severe physical, psychosocial and existential challenges. To provide timely and efficient support, based on patients' experiences, the aim of the study was to explore how patients newly diagnosed with incurable oesophageal and gastric cancer manage everyday life. Method: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 patients 1–3 months after being diagnosed with incurable oesophageal or gastric cancer. Four participants were interviewed twice, which resulted in 16 interviews. Data were analysed with qualitative content analysis. Results: An overall theme, “Striving towards normality in an unpredictable situation”, with three related themes – “Trying to comprehend the disease”, “Dealing with the consequences of illness” and “Re-evaluating what is important in everyday life” – and seven sub-themes were identified. The participants described an unexpected and unpredictable situation, in which they strived to maintain their normal life. Amidst struggling to manage problems related to eating, fatigue and an incurable diagnosis the participants talked about the importance of focusing on the positive and normal aspects of life. Conclusions: The findings in this study point to the importance of supporting patients’ confidence and skills, particularly with regard to managing eating, so that they can hold on to their normal life as much as possible. The findings further point to the possible benefit of integrating an early palliative care approach and could provide guidance for nurses and other professionals on how to support patients post diagnosis.

Originalspråkengelska
Artikelnummer102302
TidskriftEuropean Journal of Oncology Nursing
Volym63
DOI
StatusPublished - 2023 apr.

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Cancer och onkologi

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