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Life is back to normal and yet not: partners' and patient's experiences of life of the first year after colorectal cancer surgery
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing.
2012 (English)In: Journal of Clinical Nursing, ISSN 0962-1067, E-ISSN 1365-2702, Vol. 21, no 3-4, 555-563 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aim. To describe the experience of life the first year after surgery from the perspective of persons treated for colorectal cancer and their partners.

Background. Colorectal cancer is a common cancer form, and treatment can cause unpleasant side effects such as sexual dysfunction and bowel problems. Partners struggle to keep family life normal and provide support. Little is known about couples' experiences a year after treatment for colorectal cancer.

Design. Qualitative descriptive.

Methods. Individual semi-structured interviews with 13 persons treated for colorectal cancer and their partners, a total of 26 participants.

Results. One theme was identified in the study; 'Life is back to normal and yet not:' participants described living a normal but different life than before. Three subthemes were identified; 'Life has a shadow of death', 'The treated body sets the rules' and 'To share or not share the illness'.

Conclusions. Findings showed that both the patients' and their partners' lives were influenced by uncertainty and the condition of the patient. Attitudes varied towards sharing the illness. It was found that information needs varied both within and between couples. A future challenge to healthcare personnel is the obligation to meet the needs of both patients and their partners on the illness trajectory and recovery after treatment for colorectal cancer.

Relevance to clinical practice. Findings enhance the understanding of the impact of colorectal cancer on both patients and partners. Healthcare personnel need to assess both the patient's and partner's need for information, support and assistance. Support groups could be an effective tool for providing information, communication and support. Future studies are needed to evaluate such groups.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2012. Vol. 21, no 3-4, 555-563 p.
Keyword [en]
Colorectal cancer, couples, nurses, nursing, partners, patients, qualitative study
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-46701DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2011.03830.xPubMedID: 21883573OAI: diva2:439846
Available from: 2011-09-09 Created: 2011-09-09 Last updated: 2012-05-05Bibliographically approved

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