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, 19 (3), 213-22

Hospitalized Patients Experienced Suffering in Life With Incurable Cancer


Hospitalized Patients Experienced Suffering in Life With Incurable Cancer

Susan Rydahl-Hansen. Scand J Caring Sci.


The concept 'suffering' has been central within nursing since Florence Nightingale. But few researchers have made empirical studies about the lived phenomenon. Several researchers within nursing agree that more research concerning individual groups of patients has to be initiated. Within research about patients with incurable cancer focus has been on death, the terminal period and patients experience of being dying. This qualitative study was initiated to describe the characteristics of a group of Danish hospitalized patients' experienced suffering in life with incurable cancer. Twenty-five semi-structured interviews were arranged with 12 patients ones a week within a period of 4 weeks. In week 2 and 4, the interviews were supplemented by questions developed on the basis of the potential signs of suffering which appeared during the participant observations that took place the day before each interview. C. S. Peirce's semiotic and phenomenological grounded theory of signs was used in order to identify the potential signs. A phenomenological methodology developed by A. Giorgi was used to develop and describe the general structure of the phenomenon. The phenomenon is described as: 'The experience of living in an increasingly unpredictable existents at the mercy of the body, the consciousness, the illness, the death, the treatment, the professionals, one's articulateness, the past, the present and the future, influenced by increasing powerlessness, loneliness and isolation, and the experience of existing in an persistent, and with time, unconquerable struggle to maintain and regain control'.

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