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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Re-embodying eating after surgery for oesophageal cancer: Patients' lived experiences of participating in an education and counselling nutritional intervention

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AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To provide in-depth insight into patients' lived experiences of participating in an education and counselling nutritional intervention after curative surgery for oesophageal cancer.

BACKGROUND: Surgery for oesophageal cancer carries a risk of malnutrition. The consequences of nutritional problems may lead to increased morbidity and mortality postoperatively and have consequences for convalescence, rehabilitation and quality of life.

DESIGN: Qualitative study based on a phenomenological approach. The theoretical framework was grounded in the philosophy of Merleau-Ponty.

METHODS: Qualitative interviews were conducted with 10 patients who participated in an education and counselling nutritional intervention after surgery for oesophageal squamous-cell carcinoma. Data were analysed according to the principles of Kvale and Brinkmann, and their three levels of interpretation were applied.

FINDINGS: The essence of experiencing the education and counselling nutritional intervention can be divided into three themes: embodied disorientation, living with increased attention to bodily functions and re-embodying eating.

CONCLUSIONS: Patients were living with increased attention to bodily functions and tried to find a balance between the task of eating and nutritional needs. Despite the embodied perceptions of alterations after oesophageal cancer surgery, the patients developed high levels of bodily awareness and skills in self-management. This process was characterised by reconnecting to the body and re-embodying eating. The intervention empowered the patients to regain some control of their own bodies in an effort to regain agency in their own lives.

RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: There is a need for systematic long-term follow-up after surgery for oesophageal cancer regarding nutrition. The findings of this study can inform future supportive nutrition care service development aimed at supporting patients to learn to eat sufficiently after oesophageal resection.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Volume27
Issue number7-8
Pages (from-to)1420-1430
Number of pages11
ISSN0962-1067
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018

    Research areas

  • Aged, Attitude to Health, Carcinoma, Squamous Cell/complications, Counseling/methods, Eating, Esophageal Neoplasms/complications, Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Female, Health Education/methods, Humans, Male, Malnutrition/prevention & control, Middle Aged, Qualitative Research, Quality of Life

ID: 56589329