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Title: Women's experience of laparoscopic surgery in endometrial cancer : a phenomenological study
Author: Hughes, Cathy
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2009
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Aim: This study aimed to develop a description of the experience of laparoscopic surgery for endometrial cancer from the patient perspective. Background: Laparoscopic surgery is increasingly used to treat early endometrial cancer where there are surgeons trained to perform the procedure. It is generally associated with low levels of morbidity and considered safe for cancer surgery but research is limited on quality of life and patient experience. Method: Heideggerian hermeneutic phenomenology was used to explore the experiences of 14 women who had undergone the procedure in two South of England cancer centres. Unstructured taped interviews were transcribed and analysed using Colaizzi's (1978) framework, which included returning to the participants for a validation interview. Findings: A phenomenological description emerged from the five identified themes: having cancer, information and support, independence, normality and transfer of responsibility to the surgeon. The experience of laparoscopic surgery was shown to be overshadowed by the presence of endometrial cancer. Fear of cancer and lack of knowledge played a significant role in the need to trust the surgeon with the responsibility for decision making. Information needs were unique to the individual but focused on what would be done, what to expect and the practicalities of being in an unfamiliar situation and environment rather than treatment choices. Loss of control, vulnerability and dependence are associated with illness and surgery but early postoperative mobility and minimal pain facilitated a rapid return to independence and normality with the potential to significantly enhance wellbeing. Conclusion: The findings of this study represent a phenomenological description of the essence of the experience of laparoscopic surgery for endometrial cancer. Understanding the significance of the cancer diagnosis and the role of the surgeon in decision making will enable healthcare professionals to deliver care that is responsive to the patient experience and encourage the use of treatments that maintain independence and normality.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available