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Title: Experiences of patients and of partners of patients with a recurrence of colorectal cancer : a qualitative longitudinal study
Author: Wanat, Marta
ISNI:       0000 0004 7430 8083
Awarding Body: Oxford Brookes University
Current Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Date of Award: 2015
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Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer type in the UK. Following treatment, many patients will recover and be considered cured. However, this is not the case for all patients and some will face a recurrence of their cancer. This PhD aimed to explore the experiences of patients and partners of patients when colorectal cancer recurs. A meta-ethnography and literature review were conducted to examine the existing research evidence on the experiences of patients and of partners, respectively, at the time of recurrence. While these reviews provided some insights, they also highlighted the lack of studies exploring this important phase in the cancer journey. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was chosen as a methodology to explore in depth the experiences of patients and partners. A longitudinal design was used to capture changes in participants’ experiences. Analysis of interviews with six patients with colorectal cancer recurrence and five partners revealed that the initial diagnosis was an important framework for making sense of the diagnosis of recurrence. Specifically, participants compared the treatment options, quality of care and prognosis at the time of recurrence to those at initial diagnosis which, in turn, could either magnify or lessen their distress. Patients faced challenges in sharing their experience, including their emotions and information on their illness. Partners also struggled to share their experiences with other people, but these challenges were mainly related to the physical and emotional burden of caring. Finally, the study also highlighted that the diagnosis of recurrence disrupted previous rhythms of life for both patients and partners. While patients’ accounts focused on ways of negotiating the place of cancer in their lives within the context of coping with physical suffering, partners also grieved the loss of a previous relationship with a patient. This PhD captures the difficult experience of colorectal cancer recurrence for patients and partners, and the complex psychological processes that underpin this experience. The findings have clinical implications regarding information and supportive care provision and may help to inform further development of health care services for patients with colorectal cancer recurrence and their partners.
Supervisor: Watson, Eila ; Boulton, Mary ; Wee, Bee Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral