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Title: Being diagnosed with cancer : the experiences of patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
Authors: Chircop, Daren
Scerri, Josianne
Keywords: Cancer -- Diagnosis
Lymphomas -- Chemotherapy
Qualitative research
Palliative treatment -- Case studies
Terminally ill -- Case studies
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Citation: Chircop, D., & Scerri, J. (2017). Being diagnosed with cancer: The experiences of patients with non‐Hodgkin's lymphoma. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 26(23-24), 4899-4904.
Abstract: Aims and objectives: To explore the lived experiences of patients on receiving a diagnosis of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Background: Persons with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma are often diagnosed with cancer when at an advanced stage. This may arise due to a lack of screening programmes and delays in help seeking as the symptoms experienced are fairly non-specific in nature. Consequently, receiving an unexpected diagnosis of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma may pose a psychosocial challenge to the individual. Design: An exploratory qualitative phenomenological design was used. Methods: Six adult patients diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma were recruited and participated in two semi-structured interviews at different timepoints. Transcribed texts were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Results: Three main themes emerged: “Emotional reaction to the diagnosis,” “Struggling with a lack of understanding” and “Searching through past experiences.” Most of the participants expressed shock, disbelief and fear at the news of being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. A sense of relief was expressed by one participant, who could now provide a label to the pain experienced. Conclusions: This study highlights the responses of patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma on receiving a diagnosis. These responses are influenced by their knowledge about the illness, type of symptoms experienced, their own personal circumstances and the manner in which the diagnosis was given. Relevance to clinical practice: Nursing care relates to an understanding of the patients’ experiences. By reflecting on these findings, nurses are empowered to communicate with persons who have received a diagnosis of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in a patient-sensitive manner, which establishes a relationship of trust and respect.
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