Illness perceptions in relation to experiences of contemporary cancer care settings among colorectal cancer survivors and their partners

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Illness perceptions in relation to experiences of contemporary cancer care settings among colorectal cancer survivors and their partners

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title Illness perceptions in relation to experiences of contemporary cancer care settings among colorectal cancer survivors and their partners
Author(s) Johansson, Ann-Caroline ; Axelsson, Malin ; Berndtsson, Ina ; Brink, Eva
Date 2014
English abstract
Illness is constituted by subjective experiences of symptoms and their psychosocial consequences. Illness perceptions concern people’s lay beliefs about understandings and interpretation of a disease and expectations as to disease outcome. Our knowledge about illness perceptions and coping in relation to the cancer care context among persons with colorectal cancer (CRC) and their partners is incomplete. The aim of the present study was to explore illness perceptions in relation to contemporary cancer care settings among CRC survivors and partners. The present research focused on illness rather than disease, implying that personal experiences are central to the methodology. The grounded theory method used is that presented by Kathy Charmaz. The present results explore illness perceptions in the early recovery phase after being diagnosed and treated for cancer in a contemporary cancer care setting. The core category outlook on the cancer diagnosis when quickly informed, treated, and discharged illustrates the illness perceptions of survivors and partners as well as the environment in which they were found. The cancer care environment is presented in the conceptual category experiencing contemporary cancer care settings. Receiving treatment quickly and without waiting was a positive experience for both partners and survivors; however partners experienced the information as massive and as causing concern. The period after discharge was being marked by uncertainty and loneliness, and partners tended to experience non-continuity in care as more problematic than the survivor did. The results showed different illness perceptions and a mismatch between illness perceptions among survivors and partners, presented in the conceptual category outlook on the cancer diagnosis. One illness perception, here presented among partners, focused on seeing the cancer diagnosis as a permanent life-changing event. The other illness perception, here presented among survivors, concentrated on leaving the cancer diagnosis behind and moving forward. The importance of illness perceptions among survivors, and the differences in illness perceptions between survivors and partners, should be recognized by healthcare professionals to achieve the goals of person-centered contemporary cancer care.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/qhw.v9.23581 (link to publisher's fulltext)
Publisher Co-Action Publishing
Host/Issue International Journal of Studies on Health and Well-being;23581
Volume 9
ISSN 1748-2623
Pages 11
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Medicine
Research Subject Categories::MEDICINE
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/18442 (link to this page)

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