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The nature of terminal malignant bowel obstruction and its impact on patients with advanced cancer

The nature of terminal malignant bowel obstruction and its impact on patients with advanced cancer
The nature of terminal malignant bowel obstruction and its impact on patients with advanced cancer
Patients with bowel obstruction due to advanced cancer often have a poor prognosis and suffer distressing symptoms that can be difficult to manage. Research to date has focused on medical interventions and the measurement and control of symptoms. Little attention has been given to patients’ perceptions of their quality of life or the impact of their illness. This study aimed to explore patients’ lived experience of bowel obstruction. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten patients with bowel obstruction due to gynaecological or gastric cancer. Data analysis was based on an adaptation of Giorgi (1975) and Parse et al’s (1985a,b) phenomenological method. Findings suggest that the ‘meaning’ of being unable to eat is more significant for patients than the nutritional or biological loss of food. For some patients, bowel obstruction marks a process of transition from life to death which is characterized by a sense of social disengagement and disrupted identity. Interviews highlighted aspects of the nurse–patient relationship that were therapeutic in their own right.
Terminal malignant bowel obstruction
1357-6321
474-481
Gwilliam, B.
9b4af76b-fa88-4863-83a8-54b7d07e3c79
Bailey, C.
af803055-3a2d-42cf-813c-47558ca0a3e5
Gwilliam, B.
9b4af76b-fa88-4863-83a8-54b7d07e3c79
Bailey, C.
af803055-3a2d-42cf-813c-47558ca0a3e5

Gwilliam, B. and Bailey, C. (2001) The nature of terminal malignant bowel obstruction and its impact on patients with advanced cancer. International Journal of Palliative Nursing, 7 (10), 474-481. (doi:10.12968/ijpn.2001.7.10.9904).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Patients with bowel obstruction due to advanced cancer often have a poor prognosis and suffer distressing symptoms that can be difficult to manage. Research to date has focused on medical interventions and the measurement and control of symptoms. Little attention has been given to patients’ perceptions of their quality of life or the impact of their illness. This study aimed to explore patients’ lived experience of bowel obstruction. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten patients with bowel obstruction due to gynaecological or gastric cancer. Data analysis was based on an adaptation of Giorgi (1975) and Parse et al’s (1985a,b) phenomenological method. Findings suggest that the ‘meaning’ of being unable to eat is more significant for patients than the nutritional or biological loss of food. For some patients, bowel obstruction marks a process of transition from life to death which is characterized by a sense of social disengagement and disrupted identity. Interviews highlighted aspects of the nurse–patient relationship that were therapeutic in their own right.

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More information

Published date: 2001
Keywords: Terminal malignant bowel obstruction

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 9561
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/9561
ISSN: 1357-6321
PURE UUID: 027da349-a80f-4038-bbce-19d5095805a6
ORCID for C. Bailey: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-7528-6264

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 05 Oct 2004
Last modified: 08 Jan 2022 15:45

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Contributors

Author: B. Gwilliam
Author: C. Bailey ORCID iD

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