Beyond cancer: changes, problems and needs expressed by adult lymphoma survivors attending an out-patients clinic

Authors

  • LOUISE WALLWORK BSc/RGN,

    Staff Nurse, Corresponding author
    1. Department of Clinical Oncology, Nottingham City Hospital, Nottingham and Department of Nursing Studies, Kings College, University of London, Waterloo Road, London SE1 8TX, UK
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  • ALISON RICHARDSON BN/MSc/RGN/Onc Cert

    Macmillan Lecturer in Cancer Nursing
    1. Department of Clinical Oncology, Nottingham City Hospital, Nottingham and Department of Nursing Studies, Kings College, University of London, Waterloo Road, London SE1 8TX, UK
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address: Louise Wallwork, Old Hunt Stables, Woolsthorpe by Belvoir, Nr Grantham, Lincolnshire, NG32 1NP, UK.

Abstract

Little is known about the impact of the cancer experience on people following the completion of treatment. Work has begun to outline such experiences primarily in the United States. The purpose of this study was to explore the 'survival’experience within a British context of care, outlining the changes, problems and needs expressed by adult cancer survivors.

A convenience sample of 10 adult lymphoma patients from one large teaching hospital was interviewed a minimum of 18 months following the completion of successful treatment. Data were collected by means of tape-recorded semi-structured interviews, using a schedule based on the Cancer Survivorship Questionnaire (Loescher et al., 1990).

Data were analysed using content analysis and this indicated that, whilst survival itself may be reward enough for some, others seek to improve or adjust their current status, physically, psychologically or socially. It was concluded that the British cancer survivors were affected in many ways, some having to adjust more than others to the consequences of cure. The preliminary findings pointed towards a notion of 'subtle survivorship’in the British survivors. While they reported many changes in their lives after treatment, many were typically accepting of these and successfully adjusted to their new lives.

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