Livskvalitet hos personer med cancersjukdom inom palliativ vård

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Ersta Sköndal högskola/Institutionen för vårdvetenskap; Ersta Sköndal högskola/Institutionen för vårdvetenskap



Background: Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide and accounted for 7.6 million deaths, about 13% of all deaths, in 2008. Several factors can affect patients' quality of life such as physical and psychological symptoms, relationship to people around and the environment. In palliative care professionals need to have good knowledge in order to improve patient quality of life and to give them as good a life as possible in the final stages of life.

Aim: The purpose of this overview study is to describe the experiences of quality of life in patients with incurable cancer.

Method: We conducted an overview study that was based on ten scientific articles. All articles are qualitative studies, from the year 1995 - 2011, and are from Sweden, Finland, UK, Canada and the USA. Qualitative analysis was used to group the various themes and subthemes for overview study purpose. As a theoretical framework served Katie Erikson’s theory of caring, suffering, and health.

Results: Four themes with a total of eleven subthemes were distinguished; the importance of relationships for the perceived quality of life, experiences that affect quality of life positively, experiences that affect quality of life negatively and impact of care environment on perceived quality of life. The first theme includes three subthemes: relationship to family and friends, higher power and personnel. The second theme includes four subthemes: to feel hope, to accept, to take responsibility and to be independent. The third theme includes two subthemes: to feel anxiety, shame and guilt, and to lose functions and roles. In the final theme, there are two subthemes: to being cared for at home and to be cared for in health care.

Discussion: The method was discussed including the selection of keywords, databases, and how we came up with relevant articles on the result including manual search. The results were discussed on how patients' experiences affect their quality of life from the point of view of Katie Erikson's theories of caring, suffering and health. The fact that patients experience high or low quality of life depends on various factors connected to how patients themselves experience their health and the reactions from people around them.

Keywords: Cancer, quality of life, palliative care, experience

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