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Cancer patients' experiences of nurses' behaviour and health promotion activities: a critical incident analysis
Halmstad University.
Halmstad University.
1999 (English)In: European Journal of Cancer Care, ISSN 0961-5423, Vol. 8, no 4, 204-212 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Patients with head and neck cancer report several disease- and health-related problems before, during and a long time after completed treatment. Nurses have an important role in educating/supporting these patients about/through the disease and treatment so that they can attain well-being. This study describes the cancer patients' experiences of nurses' behaviour in terms of critical incidents after nurses had given them care to promote health. The study had a qualitative, descriptive design and the method used was the critical incident technique. Twenty-one informants from the Nordic countries diagnosed with head and neck cancer were strategically selected. It was explained to the informants what a critical incident implies before the interviews took place; this was defined as a major event of great importance, an incident, which the informants still remember, due to its great importance for the outcome of their health and well-being. The nurses' behaviour was examined, and critical incidents were involved in 208 cases-150 positive and 58 negative ones-the number of incidents varying between three and 20 per informant. The nurses' health promotion activities or lack of such activities based on the patients' disease, treatment and symptoms, consisted of informing and instructing the patients as well as enabling their participation. Personal consideration and the nurses' cognisance, knowledge, competence, solicitude, demeanour and statements of understanding were found to be important. Continuous health promotion nursing interventions were of considerable value for the majority of this group of cancer patients. Oncology nurses could reconfirm and update the care of head and neck cancer patients by including health promotion activities in individual care plans. By more frequent use of health promotion models, such as the empowerment model, the nurses could identify and focus on those individuals who needed to alter their life-style as well as tailor their approach towards these patient by setting goals for well-being and a healthy life-style.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
1999. Vol. 8, no 4, 204-212 p.
Keyword [en]
critical incident technique, head and neck cancer, health promotion, nursing
National Category
Nursing Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hkr:diva-6413DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2354.1999.00166.xISI: 000083697100020PubMedID: 10889617OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hkr-6413DiVA: diva2:303165
Available from: 2010-03-11 Created: 2010-03-11 Last updated: 2010-11-09Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Living with head and neck cancer: a health promotion perspective - a qualitative study
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Living with head and neck cancer: a health promotion perspective - a qualitative study
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background and aim: In society there is a growing awareness that a vital factor for patientswith chronic diseases, such as head and neck cancer (HNC), is how well they are able to function in their every day lives – a common, but often overlooked, public health issue. The overall aim of this thesis is to reach a deeper understanding of living with HNC and to identify the experiences that patients felt promoted their health and well-being. It also explores the patients' experiences of contact and care from health professionals and whether these encounters could increase their feelings of health and well-being; salutogenic approach.

Methods: This thesis engages a qualitative data design. On three occasions, 35 purposivelyselected patients were interviewed (31 from Sweden and one from Denmark, Finland, Island, and Norway). The first study was conducted in the Nordic counties (I), and the remainingstudies were conducted in Sweden (II, III, IV). Interviews were performed on a single basis(I, II, III) and then repeated (IV). The individual, semi-structured qualitative interviews usedopen-ended questions (n=53). Three different forms of analyses were used: critical incident technique (I), thematic content analysis (II), latent content analysis (III), and interpretativedescriptive analysis (paper IV).

Findings: Living with head and neck cancer was expressed as living in captivity, in the sensethat patients' sometimes life-threatening symptoms were constant reminders of the disease. The patients experienced a threat against identity and existence. Patients struggled to find power and control over everyday life, and if successful this appeared to offer them better health and well-being along with spiritual growth. The general understanding was that these patients had strong beliefs in the future despite living on a virtual rollercoaster. The patients went through a process of interplay of internal and external enabling that helped them acquire strength and feelings of better health and well-being. Consequently, they found power and control from inner strength and other health resources, e.g. social networks, nature, hobbies, activity, and health professionals. However, the findings also revealed the opposite; that some patients were more vulnerable and felt powerless and faced everyday life with emotional and existential loneliness. They were dependent on next of kin and health professionals. Having good interpersonal relationships and emotional support 24 hours a day from next of kin were crucial, as were health promoting contacts and care from health professionals. This health promoting contact and care built on working relationships with competent health professionals that were available, engaged, respectful, validating, and, above all experienced in the treatment phase. But many patients experienced not health promoting contact and care – and a sense of not being respected, or even believed. Added were the patients' experiences of inadequate coordination between phases of their lengthy illness trajectory. They felt lost and abandoned by health services, especially before and after treatment.

Conclusions: Inner strength, good relationships with next of kin, nature, hobbies, andactivities could create strength and a sense of better health and well-being. Patients experienced a mutual working relationship during dialoguing and sensed co-operation and equality in encounters with competent health professionals. This could lead to enhanced power and control i.e. empowerment in a patient's everyday life. The findings highlight psychosocial rehabilitation in a patient-centred organisation when health professionals supportpatients' inner strength and health resources , and also offer long-term support to next of kin.Finally, this research suggests that if health professionals could gain a deeper understanding of the psychosocial, existential, social, and economic questions on patients' minds, they could better sense how patients feel and would be better equipped not only to offer greater support, but to raise their voices to improve health policy and health care for these patients. 

Abstract [sv]

Syfte och bakgrund: Avhandlingens övergripande syfte var att få en djupare förståelse för personer med huvud – halscancer vardagsliv samt vad som främjar deras hälsa och välbefinnande d v s ett salutogent synsätt. Kroniska sjukdomstillstånd såsom cancer räknas numera till de stora folksjukdomarna och vid huvud – halscancer är vikten av ett fungerande vardagsliv emellertid ett ofta förbisett folkhälsoproblem.

Metod: Avhandlingen omfattar fyra delarbeten baserade på kvalitativa data. Resultaten baseras på semistrukturerade individuella intervjuer (n=53) som riktades till 35 utvalda personer. Den första studien (I) genomfördes i Danmark, Finland, Island, Norge och Sverige och de övriga i Sverige (II, III, IV). Intervjuerna genomfördes vid ett tillfälle (I, II, III) och vid upprepade tillfälle (IV). Tre olika textanalyser användes, kritisk händelse teknik (I), tematisk innehålls analys (II), latent innehållsanalys (III) och tolkande beskrivande analys (IV).

Resultat: Att leva med huvud - halscancer beskrevs som ett liv i fångenskap och upplevdes som att åka i berg och dalbana mellan hopp och förtvivlan. De ofta livshotande symtomen påminde ständigt om sjukdomen och upplevdes som hot både mot existensen och mot identiteten. Detta till trots kom ibland en stark optimism och tro på framtiden till uttryck. Några av de intervjuades vardagsliv präglades dock av känslomässig och existentiell ensamhet och upplevelser av sårbarhet och maktlöshet. Att ha makt och kontroll över den egna livssituationen liksom närståendes känslomässiga stöd, ibland dygnet runt, främjade hälsan. Hälsofrämjande kontakter med vårdpersonalen upplevdes främst under sjukhusvistelsen. Avgörande var en god och bekräftande patient vårdar relation samt att personalen hade hög kompetens och visade engagemang och respekt i vårdsituationen. Flera av de intervjuade beskrev dock allvarliga brister i kontakten med sjukvården. Upplevelser av brist på respekt och att inte bli trodd i sin sjukdomsupplevelse beskrevs, vilket vanligast i perioderna före och efter sjukhusvistelsen. Samordningen mellan hälso- och sjukvårdens olika funktioner upplevdes som bristfällig under hela sjukdomsförloppet.

Konklusion: Inre styrka, goda relationer med närstående, nära kontakt med naturen, hobbyer och andra aktiviteter skapade upplevelser av hälsa och välbefinnande hos personer med huvud - halscancer. I dialog med kompetent vårdpersonal, där samverkan och jämlikhet var tydlig, upplevdes ömsesidiga, vänliga relationer som en hjälp för dem att få ökad egenmakt och kontroll i vardagslivet. Resultatet visar på patienternas långvariga kamp med ett vardagsliv med ständig känslomässig, psykosocial, existentiell, social och ekonomisk oro. Resultatet pekar också på en brist på patientcentrerad organisation och psykosocial rehabilitering, där vårdpersonal stödjer patienters inre styrka och hälsoresurser. Förhoppningen är att resultatet kan leda till en ökad förståelse hos vårdpersonal för hur vardagslivet kan upplevas då man har en huvud- hals cancer, för att på så vis ge adekvat hjälp till dessa patienter och deras närstående.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Göteborg: Nordic School of Public Health, 2010. 77 p.
Series
NHV-rapport, ISSN 0283-1961 ; 2010:8
Keyword
Head and neck cancer, public health, health promotion, empowerment, qualitative methods, everyday living, nursing, Huvud-halscancer, folkhälsa, hälsofrämjande, egenmakt, kvalitativa metoder, levda erfarenheter, omvårdnad
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hkr:diva-7387 (URN)978-91-85721-93-1 (ISBN)
Available from: 2010-11-09 Created: 2010-11-09 Last updated: 2013-11-12Bibliographically approved

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