Psychological adjustment in patients post-curative treatment for oesophageal cancer: a longitudinal interview study

Lisa Graham-Wisener, Julie Hanna, Louise Collins, Martin Dempster

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1 Citation (Scopus)
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Objective: Oesophageal cancer is an increasingly prevalent disease with a demanding post-curative treatment recovery period and sustained longer-term effects. Although post-curative treatment is a key transitionary period, the process of psychological adjustment for the individual is under-researched which limits the evidence base to inform supportive care. The aim of this study was to understand the process of adjustment for oesophageal cancer patients post-curative treatment, in particular the beliefs participants hold regarding their condition and how these are appraised against their experience.

Design: Serial interviews were undertaken with six oesophageal cancer patients who have recently completed curative treatment, at baseline and at 6-month follow-up using interpretative phenomenological analysis.

Results: The findings demonstrate an effortful process of adjustment, including recognising and accepting a changed self, fostering control beliefs over the course of the illness and physical sequelae, searching for meaning, developing illness coherence and moving away from self-blame.

Conclusions: This study is the first to utilise a longitudinal qualitative design in oesophageal cancer, and provides an understanding of post-treatment adjustment over time for this clinical population through which to inform clinical practice and service development.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
JournalPsychology and Health
Early online date02 Apr 2019
Publication statusEarly online date - 02 Apr 2019

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