Hopkinson, J. and Corner, J.
Helping patients with advanced cancer live with concerns about eating: A challenge for palliative care professionals
Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 31, (4), . (doi:10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2005.09.005).
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This paper reports findings of an exploratory study of the eating habits of people with advanced cancer living in the south of England in 2003. The purpose of the study was to develop an understanding of why eating can be experienced as troubling and examine the potential for helping people live with the changes in eating habits that often accompany advanced cancer. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 30 patients, 23 lay caregivers, and 14 specialist nurses. The data were analyzed thematically. It was found that patients experienced eating-related concerns when the reality of eating differed from the expectations of eating. Patient response to concern ranged from acceptance to self-action. A subgroup of participants believed that they could have been helped by support for taking self-action. Eating-related concerns present nurses and other health care professionals with the challenge of supporting differing patient preferences for living with the symptom, which can include the expectation of support for self-action.
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