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Cancer patients' illness experiences during a group intervention
The high incidence of cancer and the accompanying medical and psychological effects thereof make exploring cancer patients' experiences regarding their illness potentially valuable. The aim of this study was to qualitatively explore cancer patients' illness experiences during a listening group intervention. Secondary analysis was done on data previously collected by Strydom (2006), for his study on "Cancer patients' and non-cancer patients' experiences of the listening group technique." The use of this post-modernist approach, in which the individual is seen as the expert in his/her own life, makes the data gathered by Strydom (2006) eminently suitable for gaining a true understanding of cancer patients' illness experiences. Analysis of the data yielded twelve prevalent themes namely, support, perspectives and experiences in medical context, perspectives on life and death, emotional experiences, religion, role of knowledge and information pertaining to cancer, finances, concern for others, loss, desire for survival, humour, and physical symptoms. In an attempt to make sense of these themes a framework suggesting moderating factors that would influence cancer patients' illness experiences and outcomes, is proposed. Due to the rising number of cancer survivors and the fact that finishing the treatment seldom indicates the end of the cancer experience, it is suggested that further research regarding the development of a survivorship care programme within the South African context be undertaken.
- Humanities