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Title: The lived experience of patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma undergoing chemotherapy
Authors: Chircop, Daren
Scerri, Josianne
Keywords: Chemotherapy -- Case studies
Life change events
Lymphomas -- Chemotherapy
Qualitative research
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Churchill Livingstone
Citation: Chircop, D., & Scerri, J. (2018). The lived experience of patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma undergoing chemotherapy. European Journal of Oncology Nursing, 35, 117-121.
Abstract: Purpose: Patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma face many challenges when undergoing chemotherapy. However, there is a dearth of literature targeting the experiences of this patient group. Hence, the aim of this study was to explore the lived experience of patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma during the initial stages of chemotherapy (i.e. from commencement to mid-treatment). Method: This study adopted a qualitative research design. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with six adult patients having non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and undergoing chemotherapy. Data collection was undertaken between July 2016 and December 2016. The interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. The data was analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Results: Three themes emerged: ‘Living an emotional rollercoaster’, ‘Becoming dependent on others’ and ‘Facing an uncertain future’. This study highlights that, whilst undergoing chemotherapy, the participants experienced a rollercoaster of emotions, such as fear, relief, acceptance and depression, in addition to physical dysfunction. Moreover, two participants described feeling so overwhelmed emotionally that they even considered committing suicide. Nevertheless, all the participants stated that they hoped that their life would revert back to normal on completion of their treatment. Conclusions: The findings of this study may help guide the formulation of interventions that target the needs of patients undergoing chemotherapy for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Such interventions may include the introduction of community services where health care providers can provide domestic support to these patients. Additionally, the information generated can also inform hospital policies, such as the introduction of screening programs to monitor for psychological distress in this patient group during treatment.
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