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Supporting self-management of radiation-induced bowel and bladder dysfunction in pelvic-cancer rehabilitation: An ethnographic study

Journal article
Authors Katerina Cerna
Jonas Ivarsson
Alexandra Weilenmann
Gunnar Steineck
Published in Journal of Clinical Nursing
ISSN 09621067
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Oncology
Department of Applied Information Technology (GU)
Department of Education, Communication and Learning
Language en
Keywords ethnography, nurses, nurses’ strategies, nurses’ work, pelvic-cancer rehabilitation, radiation-induced dysfunction
Subject categories Ethnography, Nursing

Abstract

© 2019 John Wiley & Sons Ltd Aims and objectives: To describe and understand strategies that oncological nurses use to support self-management of radiation-induced bowel and bladder issues in pelvic-cancer rehabilitation patients. Background: Nurse-led self-management of radiation-induced bowel and bladder issues holds the potential to support cancer survivors. Design: An ethnographic approach was applied in this study, which adhered to Consolidated Criteria for Reporting Qualitative Research (COREQ) guidelines. Methods: Data collection was conducted in Sweden between October 2015–April 2018, involving observations of nurses’ daily work, formal and informal interviews, individual and group interviews, and reviews of relevant documents used in the studied practice. Furthermore, 15 supportive nurse–patient talks were observed, and an ethnographic analysis was performed. Results: The analysis identified the following three categories of nursing strategies that support self-management of radiation-induced bowel and bladder issues in pelvic-cancer rehabilitation patients: encouraging self-reflection, tailoring solutions together and keeping patients motivated. Nurses and patients jointly make sense of patients’ symptoms using data that patients collect about themselves. Based on their shared understanding, they can co-create solutions to meet each individual patient's needs and develop routines to keep the patient motivated in performing the devised solutions. Conclusions: The results indicate that the strategies nurses use to support patients in self-management of radiation-induced bowel and bladder issues entail intertwining patients’ experiences with their nurses’ medical knowledge and specific clinical practice. Nurses’ strategies build on their ability to connect patients’ experiences and the elements of their own work practice. Relevance to clinical practice: A deeper understanding of nurses’ strategies to support self-management of radiation-induced bowel and bladder issues in pelvic-cancer rehabilitation patients can improve other self-management programmes, inform nurses’ education and aid in the design of tools for pelvic-cancer rehabilitation support.

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