Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Dunne, S., Coffey, L. Sharp, L., Desmond, D. Gooberman-Hill, R, O’Sullivan, E., Timmons, A, Keogh, I., Timon, C., Gallagher, P.
Journal of Cancer Survivorship
Integrating self-management into daily life following primary treatment: head and neck cancer survivors' perspectives
Optional Fields
Background: Self-management may help cancer survivors to better deal with challenges to their physical, functional, social, and psychological wellbeing presented by cancer and its treatment. Nonetheless, little is known about how people integrate cancer self-management practices into their daily lives. The aim of this study was to describe and characterise the processes through which head and neck cancer (HNC) survivors attempt to integrate self-management into their daily lives following primary treatment. Methods: Using a purposeful critical case sampling method, 27 HNC survivors were identified through four designated cancer centres in Ireland and participated in face-to-face semi-structured interviews. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis. Results: Six themes describing HNC survivors’ attempts to integrate self-management into their lives following treatment were identified: grappling with having to self-manage, trying out self-management strategies, becoming an expert self-manager, struggling to integrate self-management strategies into daily life, avoiding recommended self-management and interpreting self-management. Conclusions: This is the first study to describe HNC survivors’ attempts to integrate self-management into their daily lives following primary treatment. The findings indicate that HNC survivors exhibit highly individualised approaches to self-management integration and abandon self-management strategies that fail to meet their own specific needs. Implications for Survivors: Survivors may benefit from skills training and structured support to assist their transition between in-patient care and having to self-manage after primary treatment, and/or ongoing support to deal with persistent and recurring challenges such as eating difficulties and fear of recurrence.
doi: 10.1007/s11764-018-0726-4
Grant Details