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Keywords:

  • life experience;
  • adolescents with cancer;
  • qualitative study;
  • grounded theory

Life experiences of Taiwanese adolescents with cancer

This grounded theory study aimed to develop a conceptual framework of the life experience of Taiwanese adolescents with cancer. Sixteen adolescents (nine males and seven females) with cancer at all stages of the illness (i.e. diagnosisthrough terminal stage) were interviewed. Data were collected through in-depth interview with patients and primary caregiver, observations, medical chart reviews, nurses' notes, and researcher's reflexive journals. An unsettled state of mind emerged as the core category representing the life experience of adolescents with cancer. This multifaceted, dynamic process was elicited by the diagnosis of cancer or a change in clinical status. Five distinct subcategories of the life experience, in order of importance reported by participants emerged: physical and psychological, cognitive, social and future orientation aspects.