Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences

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Edited By: Åshild Slettebø and Lennart Fredriksson

Impact Factor: 1.197

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2014: 35/109 (Nursing (Social Science))

Online ISSN: 1471-6712

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FREE Editor's Choice paper - December 2015

Cancer survivors’ experiences of humour while navigating through challenging landscapes – a socio-narrative approach
Bente Lisbet Roaldsen, Tore Sørlie and Geir F. Lorem

The authors of this article aim to elucidate how adult cancer survivors experience and evaluate the significance of humour in daily life. They state that humour can be seen as a health-promoting coping strategy when dealing with stress. Fourteen participants in the age range from 23 to 83 years with a variety of diagnoses and with different life situations were interviewed within a socio-narrative approach. The second purpose was to gain a broader understanding of humour as part of stress-coping processes in a situation where cancer is experienced as a life-threatening illness. Narratives focusing on humorous stories and their use in the participants’ everyday contexts were collected. The findings show that humour was helpful and that it was used as a strategy to deal with difficult situations and distress. Fluctuations occurred within two extremes where humour either disappeared or returned. It was found to relate to three themes: facing a life-threatening situation, togetherness and communication, and living with the situation. The authors conclude that humour should be considered as a significant coping strategy which cancer survivors can use to manage their situation throughout the trajectory of the illness. They found that humour relieves anxiety, enhances problem-solving, safeguards relationships, communicates difficult topics, regains identity and helps significant others to cope. It can enable the richness of life to help living with the risk of the illness. We as editors think this research is of great importance for caring science. The research question and findings are original research which contributes to a repertoire on using humour in situations involving life-threatening illness.

Åshild Slettebø, Editor in Chief, SJCS

Lennart Fredriksson, Associate Editor, SJCS

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