Life goes on… Patient perspectives on having a cancer diagnosis and other comorbid diseases: A qualitative study

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Objectives: Due to a growing population with both cancer and chronic diseases, we explored patients’ experiences of living with a cancer diagnosis and comorbidities, the possible effects on everyday living and management of comorbidities. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted during 2016 with 15 patients in Denmark, with finished cancer treatment and preexisting comorbidities. Analysis was performed by Systematic Text Condensation. Results: Symptoms which disrupted everyday function were given attention, regardless of the disease from which the symptoms originated. The awareness of cancer and comorbidities constituted an inverse process over time. Most patients perceived cancer as being transient, whereas experiences of comorbidities varied from ignorance to worry. Most patients reported maintaining their chronic illness consultations with their general practitioner as before cancer. Conclusion: Patients prioritized an everyday life with normal chores highly in contrast to paying attention to diseases. Disruptive symptoms, rather than specific diseases, took up patients’ attention. Cancer did not change the patients’ attendance at chronic care consultations. General practitioners should focus on maintaining the patient’s functional level in everyday life. Further, they should continue to prioritize the chronic care management, as this might increase the patients’ own view of the importance of self-management.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftChronic Illness
ISSN1742-3953
DOI
StatusAccepteret/In press - 2019

ID: 216344975