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Title: Fathers' experiences of living with cancer : a phenomenological study
Author: O'Neill, Carla
ISNI:       0000 0004 5356 3114
Awarding Body: Ulster University
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2014
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There is at present a clear paucity of understanding the phenomenon of paternal cancer. A deeper level of knowledge in this area will undoubtedly assist health and social care professionals to provide psycho-social support to fathers and their families, particularly now as fathers' roles diversify in an ever changing social landscape. This study explores the experiences of fathers diagnosed and living with cancer. Methods: A qualitative hermeneutic phenomenological approach was used in the study. Data were generated through multiple in-depth interviews with 10 participants, 22 in total. Findings: This study generates new insights and knowledge of fathers' parental role while ill. Identities are challenged and often reinvented by this experience, this can ignite an improved lifestyle behaviour pattern. Heightened engagement with their children can provide a protective effect from the illness, the opposite is true without this increased involvement and may lead to frustration, even depression. Fathers in non-traditional family settings appear more vulnerable in terms of social support and disjointed relationships with their children. Conclusions: This study contributes to our understanding of the sociology of health and illness and of the impact of sex-role stereotypes on fathers who are no longer able to fulfil the traditional breadwinner role. The findings also reveal the complexity and diversity of the father's role and family structures in modern society. This study will inform health and social care practitioners of the need to provide gendered sensitive care and of the way gendered responses can shape the cancer experience. Additionally, the study demonstrates that fathers can be targeted at this critical time to adopt healthier behaviours, taking more responsibility for their health. Given the impact of cancer on the entire family structure a family centred approach to cancer care is recommended.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available