Living and dying with advanced Oesophago-gastric cancer
: perspectives of the patient and carer

  • Cara Ghiglieri

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Being diagnosed with advanced cancer is a life-altering experience that can exacerbate an array of psychosocial issues in both patients and their informal carers. Oesophago-gastric cancer, in particular, is a complex disease known for its aggressive nature, high rate of recurrence, and poor prognosis. Previous research has identified sustained psychological morbidity amongst the survivor population and their carers, yet relatively few studies have explored the psychosocial impact of advanced disease. With this in mind, this thesis sought to develop an evidence-based understanding of patients' and carers' lived experiences of advanced oesophago-gastric cancer, with a broader goal of informing care and support to this clinical population. The findings acknowledge that the illness has the potential to substantially interfere with the psychosocial functioning of both patients and their carers, requiring an ongoing and effortful process of adjustment. Attention is also paid to the challenges this population face when navigating a complex and multi-faceted care pathway, revealing a number of unmet care needs. These findings are considered and discussed alongside the theoretical framework of the Common-Sense Model of Self-Regulation (CSM) (Leventhal et al., 2016) as a sounding board to make sense of the participants' lived experiences and process of adjustment over time.

Thesis is embargoed until 31 December 2028.
Date of AwardDec 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Queen's University Belfast
SponsorsNorthern Ireland Department for the Economy
SupervisorLisa Graham-Wisener (Supervisor) & Martin Dempster (Supervisor)


  • oesophago-gastric cancer
  • palliative care
  • psychosocial functioning
  • lived experiences

Cite this