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Shared recovery: Couples' experiences after treatment for colorectal cancer

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-231
JournalEuropean Journal of Oncology Nursing
Early online date28 Oct 2015
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016


Purpose: Completing cancer treatment involves significant challenges for patients as well as their families. This study aimed to explore couples' experiences of colorectal (bowel) cancer, focusing on the transition after treatment.
Method: Separate, semi-structured interviews were conducted within 12 months of completing treatment with a purposeful sample of ten participants, comprising five patient-partner dyads. Data were analysed using the Framework approach, incorporating dyadic analysis to compare narratives within as well as between couples.
Results: Three main themes were elaborated: the process of recovery, the relationship dynamics, and the mixed experiences of healthcare services. The lasting impact of cancer following completion of treatment was evident for patients as well as their partners, and was shaped by their reciprocal influence on each other.
Conclusions: The findings underscore the value of a systemic approach for supporting couples during recovery from colorectal cancer and demonstrate the need for consistency of healthcare provision across the cancer trajectory, including post-treatment.

    Research areas

  • colorectal cancer, caregivers, survivorship, qualitative, health care

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