A metasynthesis of studies of patients’ experience of living with terminal cancer

Willig, C. & Wirth, L. (2017). A metasynthesis of studies of patients’ experience of living with terminal cancer. Health Psychology, 37(3), pp. 228-237.

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Abstract

Objective: The aim of this research was to produce a synthesis of phenomenological studies of the experience of living with the awareness of having terminal cancer in order to gain a more complete understanding of the parameters of this experience.

Methods: This research used metasynthesis as a method for integrating the results of 23 phenomenological studies of the experience of living with the awareness of having terminal cancer published between 2011 and 2016.

Results: The metasynthesis generated 19 theme clusters which informed the construction of four master themes: trauma, liminality, holding on to life and life as a cancer patient. Each master theme captures a distinct experiential dimension of living with the awareness of having terminal cancer. Each dimension brings with it significant and distinctive psychological challenges.

Conclusion: The results from the present metasynthesis suggest that the experience of living with the awareness of having terminal cancer is a multi-dimensional experience which patients actively negotiate as they search for ways in which they can rise to the psychological challenges associated with it. A better understanding of the parameters of this experience can help health care professionals provide appropriate support for this client group.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © American Psychological Association. This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. Please do not copy or cite without author's permission. The final article is available, upon publication, at: http://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/hea/
Uncontrolled Keywords: living with advanced cancer; metasynthesis; phenomenology of cancer; qualitative analysis; illness experience
Divisions: School of Social Sciences > Department of Psychology
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/18650

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