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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital

A radical change: A qualitative study of patients' experiences of eating and daily living through the first year after oesophageal resection

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PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to explore the lived experiences of patients in terms of eating and consequences in everyday life in the first year after oesophageal cancer surgery.

METHODS: Thirteen patients participated in qualitative interviews one year after surgery for oesophageal cancer. Descriptions capturing the meaning of the lived experiences of patients were then derived from subsequent analysis and interpretation of the interviews. A phenomenological hermeneutical approach comprised the epistemological stance, and theoretical perspectives were drawn from Schutz' theory of everyday life.

RESULTS: Patient descriptions of their experiences with food, eating and everyday life in the first year after oesophageal cancer surgery fell into four themes: Adjusting to a different anatomy - food and eating as a dominant and difficult activity; changed body - food and eating as an underlying shadow; feeling different - social consequences of changed eating; a nutritional jungle - guidance and support in an uncertain time.

CONCLUSION: The physical and social consequences of oesophageal cancer resection upend everyday structures, requiring patients to adopt a new, conscious and reflexive approach to food and eating as a social activity. Continuous support from healthcare professionals and patient-to-patient interaction can help redefine everyday life.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean journal of oncology nursing : the official journal of European Oncology Nursing Society
Pages (from-to)101800
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020

ID: 62325987