Decay, transformation, and growth: meaning-making processes of patients with acute leukemia within the first year after diagnosis or relapse

Papadopoulou, C., Johnston, B. and Themessl-Huber, M. (2016) Decay, transformation, and growth: meaning-making processes of patients with acute leukemia within the first year after diagnosis or relapse. Oncology Nursing Forum, 43(2), E73-E81. (doi:10.1188/16.ONF.E73-E81) (PMID:26906141)

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Abstract

Purpose/Objectives: To explore the processes through which patients construct their meanings of acute leukemia (AL).
 Research Approach: An exploratory design was employed using serial, in-depth interviews, guided by Smith’s Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis approach.
 Setting: Two inpatient hematology clinics in the United Kingdom.
 Participants: 10 adult patients with AL. 
 Methodologic Approach: Two serial interviews were conducted with each participant, two to four weeks apart, within the first year of diagnosis or post-relapse.
 Findings: AL creates a state of imbalance, which may initiate a search for new equilibrium. Patients’ journeys toward making sense of their illness may involve three interchangeable processes: decay, transformation, and growth. As patients learned of their diagnosis and their treatment commenced, a sense of decay dominated their lives. Running in parallel, signs of transformation started to become more evident as time elapsed. Within growth, reprioritizing values was prominent. 
 Conclusions: Findings of this contextually and methodologically novel study highlight the complex nature of sense-making for patients experiencing AL.
 Interpretation: Nurses can take valuable lessons on how to manage the invisibility of AL, enhance trust in healthcare professionals, address the impact of isolation, and facilitate the making-sense processes of patients in ways that favor their short- and long-term psychosocial adjustment.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Johnston, Professor Bridget
Authors: Papadopoulou, C., Johnston, B., and Themessl-Huber, M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing > Nursing and Health Care
Journal Name:Oncology Nursing Forum
Publisher:Oncology Nursing Society
ISSN:0190-535X
ISSN (Online):1538-0688

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