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Identifying bone sarcoma survivors facing psychosocial challenges. A study of trajectories following treatment

Journal article
Authors L. Fauske
H. Bondevik
Karin Ahlberg
A. Bjørndal
Published in European Journal of Cancer Care
ISSN 0961-5423
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Health and Care Sciences
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1111/ecc.13119
Keywords bone sarcoma, cancer survivors, post-traumatic growth, psychosocial guidance, qualitative research methods
Subject categories Cancer and Oncology

Abstract

Objective: Bone sarcoma survivors face a number of physical and psychosocial challenges in relation to the late effects they experience following treatment. The present study aimed to identify and explore the different trajectories that bone sarcoma survivors might navigate during follow-up. Methods: In-depth and semi-structured interviews were conducted, and an inductive thematic analysis was performed. Results: When they were interviewed three to ten years after the primary diagnosis, the eighteen bone cancer survivors were found to be in three different rehabilitation phases that followed fairly distinct trajectories, namely, back to normal, a new normal and still struggling. Only three participants felt that they had returned to a life that was quite similar to the one they had lived prior to having cancer. Fifteen participants considered their lives and their bodies to be significantly altered. Conclusion: Sarcoma survivors who undergo life-changing treatment and return to very different lives than they had before should be identified by healthcare professionals and guided through this demanding phase to better cope with their new living conditions. Information on and tailored guidance related to psychosocial challenges may be of particular importance. Active focus on reorientation, as well as possibilities for growth, seems to be important. © 2019 The Authors. European Journal of Cancer Care Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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