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Experiencing cancer in old age: a qualitative systematic review

Hughes, N, Closs, SJ and Clark, D (2009) Experiencing cancer in old age: a qualitative systematic review. Qualitative Health Research, 19 (8). 1139 - 1153 . ISSN 1049-7323


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Our purpose in this study was to find, report, and interpret the results of qualitative studies which investigated the experiences of older people living with cancer. We conducted systematic literature searches, identified and extracted the findings from 11 studies, and analyzed them systematically. We interpreted the findings to suggest that living with cancer in old age is to live in a perpetual state of ambiguity. The experience is characterized by a sense of disintegration, diminished identity, suffering, and social retraction. These experiences are balanced by sources of comfort and strength found within the self and among diverse relationships. The results of our study illuminate the complex, multidimensional character of living with cancer in old age. They show that older people living with cancer are resilient as well as vulnerable. We argue for changes in attitudes and behavior that will enable health care professionals to foster older peoples' resilience.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Activities of Daily Living, Adaptation, Psychological, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Chronic Disease, Humans, Neoplasms, Qualitative Research
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Medicine and Health (Leeds) > School of Healthcare (Leeds) > Leeds Institute of Diagnostics & Therapeutics > AU Clinical & Rehabilitation Sciences (Leeds)
Depositing User: Symplectic Publications
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2011 09:26
Last Modified: 22 Dec 2015 12:16
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1049732309341715
Status: Published
Publisher: Sage Publications
Identification Number: 10.1177/1049732309341715
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/43017

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