Women’s perceptions of their lifestyle and quality of life several years after a diagnosis of endometrial cancer

Rowlands, Ingrid J., Lee, Christina, Beesley, Vanessa L., Janda, Monika, Nagle, Christina M., & Webb, Penelope M. (2014) Women’s perceptions of their lifestyle and quality of life several years after a diagnosis of endometrial cancer. Cancer Nursing, 38(1), E21-E28.

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Abstract

Background

Few studies have examined the long-term changes experienced by women treated for endometrial cancer.

Objective

The objectives of this study were to describe what women perceived important to their lifestyle and quality of life in the years following their diagnosis and to provide new insights that might inform healthcare practice.

Methods

This was a thematic analysis of 237 open-ended comments from Australian women diagnosed with endometrial cancer 3 to 5 years previously.

Results

We identified 3 main themes: (1) personal change, in which women spoke about cancer as permanently altering their lives in mostly negative but sometimes positive ways; (2) continuity of former life, which described both the minimal impact of cancer on women's lives and identities and the difficulties negotiating this within the dominant "cancer survivorship" culture; (3) social support, where women wrote about how the quality of their relationships shaped their cancer trajectory.

Conclusions

While typical "survivorship" issues exist for many women with endometrial cancer (eg, physical, emotional, sexual health changes), a proportion of women will not be focused on their cancer and can be encouraged to form lives and identities that are not situated within the "cancer survivorship" culture.

Implications for Practice

A network of support, sensitive to women's responses to having cancer, may benefit women's long-term adjustment. Regular standardized assessment of women's needs may facilitate appropriate support for those with concerns, whereas those without concerns could be reassured by health professionals that their experience is normal and shared by other people with cancer. This may encourage women to form lives that are personally meaningful.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 78717
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Adjustment, Endometrial cancer, Health services, Qualitative, Quality of life
DOI: 10.1097/NCC.0000000000000129
ISSN: 0162-220X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Funding:
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Copyright Statement: This is a non-final version of an article published in final form in Cancer Nursing (provide complete journal citation).
Deposited On: 17 Nov 2014 22:53
Last Modified: 09 Mar 2016 00:30

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