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Dunne, S., Coffey, L., Sharpe, L., Desmond, D. Gooberman-Hill, R., Timons, A., O'Sullivan, E., Timon, C., Keogh, IJ., Gallagher, P.
Barriers to active self-management following treatment for head and neck cancer: survivors’ perspectives
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OBJECTIVE: Active self-management practices may help head and neck cancer (HNC) survivors to deal with challenges to their physical, functional, social, and psychological well-being presented by HNC and its treatment. This study investigates the factors perceived by HNC survivors to act as barriers to their active self-management following primary treatment. METHODS: In this qualitative study, 27 HNC survivors identified through 4 designated cancer centres in Ireland participated in face-to-face semistructured interviews. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and analysed using thematic analysis. RESULTS: Four themes (and associated subthemes) describing barriers to survivors' active self-management were identified: emotional barriers (eg, fear of recurrence), symptom-related barriers (eg, loss of taste), structural barriers (eg, access to appropriate health services), and self-evaluative barriers (eg, interpersonal self-evaluative concerns). CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study to describe HNC survivors' views about barriers to their active self-management after treatment. The findings have important implications for self-management research and intervention development concerning HNC survivorship.
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