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Meanings of being old, living on one's own and suffering from incurable cancer in rural Norway
Centre for Care Research Mid-Norway, Steinkjer, Norway; Department of Health Sciences, Mid-Sweden University, Sundsvall, Sweden.
Centre for Care Research Mid-Norway, Steinkjer, Norway; Nord Trøndelag University College, Namsos, Norway.
Nord Trøndelag University College, Namsos, Norway.
Centre for Care Research Mid-Norway, Steinkjer, Norway; Department of Health Sciences, Mid-Sweden University, Sundsvall, Sweden; Nord Trøndelag University College, Namsos, Norway.
2013 (English)In: European Journal of Oncology Nursing, ISSN 1462-3889, E-ISSN 1532-2122, Vol. 17, no 6, p. 781-787Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose

The aim of this study was to explore and understand the lived experience of older people living alone and suffering from incurable cancer in rural Norway.

Methods and sample

Narrative interviews were conducted with five older people with incurable cancer (three women and two men, aged 71–79), receiving outpatient and life-prolonging chemotherapy and living alone in their homes in rural areas. A phenomenological hermeneutical approach was used to interpret the meaning of the lived experience.

Key results

Four main themes were found: enduring by keeping hope alive, becoming aware that you are on your own, living up to expectations of being a good patient and being at risk of losing one's identity and value. Enduring this situation means struggling with terminal illness and facing death in a brave manner, and replacing former ways of living. The process of providing treatment may threaten dignity and cause additional distress.

Conclusions

These results show a complex and comprehensive situation where physical symptoms and emotions are interwoven. Further the results describe how the ways of suffering caused by the manner in which care is delivered, suffering related to the cancer disease and existential suffering, may increase each other's impact. The social and rural context calls for special attention as the patients may lack recourses to gain sufficient care. Their comfort depends to a large extent on the health professionals' sensitivity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 17, no 6, p. 781-787
Keywords [en]
Incurable cancer Older people Rural palliative care Suffering Dignity Phenomenological hermeneutics
National Category
Nursing
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-25021DOI: 10.1016/j.ejon.2013.03.009ISI: 000328715900014PubMedID: 23623233Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84888050452OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-25021DiVA, id: diva2:1134834
Available from: 2017-08-21 Created: 2017-08-21 Last updated: 2018-03-13Bibliographically approved

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