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Cancer patients' experiences of communicating and dealing with their older parents : a qualitative study

Liesbeth Van Humbeeck (UGent) , Let Dillen (UGent) , Ruth Piers (UGent) , Mieke Grypdonck (UGent) , Sofie Verhaeghe (UGent) and Nele Van Den Noortgate (UGent)
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Abstract
Purpose: In 2017 almost 25,000 Belgians between 40 and 60 years (38% of new diagnoses) were diagnosed with cancer. With increasing life expectancy the chance augments that these patients still have older parents alive. This implies that oncology care should also take into account the impact cancer may have on (the relationship with) older parents. The purpose of this study was to explore how cancer patients communicate and deal with their older parents during the illness trajectory. Method: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 11 cancer patients. Interview transcripts were analysed using the principles of the constructivist Grounded Theory Approach. Results: Depending on the situation, the time frame and the person the patients are talking about, cancer patients oscillate between perspectives (I, They and We). A common denominator in all three perspectives is silence fuelled by different forms of solicitude (self-protection and other-protection). This solicitude underpins the cancer patients' communicative behaviours and ways of relating towards their parents. Conclusions: Present findings underline the importance of health care providers considering the often hidden complexity of giving information and talking about feelings. Nurses' strategies must be designed not to harm the existing mechanism of solicitude and the diligent management of the patients' relationship with their parents. Conversations about functionality of avoiding certain topics and the impetus behind certain communicative patterns should be put forward instead of consensually advising open communication.
Keywords
Interaction, Older parent, Patient, Qualitative study, Cancer, Relationship, Process, Communication, Experiences, FAMILY CAREGIVERS, BREAST-CANCER, ADULT CHILDREN, PSYCHOLOGICAL DISTRESS, OF-LIFE, MOTHERS, DIAGNOSIS, DAUGHTERS, ILLNESS, PREDICTORS

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MLA
Van Humbeeck, Liesbeth et al. “Cancer Patients’ Experiences of Communicating and Dealing with Their Older Parents : a Qualitative Study.” EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF ONCOLOGY NURSING 38 (2019): 98–103. Print.
APA
Van Humbeeck, L., Dillen, L., Piers, R., Grypdonck, M., Verhaeghe, S., & Van Den Noortgate, N. (2019). Cancer patients’ experiences of communicating and dealing with their older parents : a qualitative study. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF ONCOLOGY NURSING, 38, 98–103.
Chicago author-date
Van Humbeeck, Liesbeth, Let Dillen, Ruth Piers, Mieke Grypdonck, Sofie Verhaeghe, and Nele Van Den Noortgate. 2019. “Cancer Patients’ Experiences of Communicating and Dealing with Their Older Parents : a Qualitative Study.” European Journal of Oncology Nursing 38: 98–103.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Van Humbeeck, Liesbeth, Let Dillen, Ruth Piers, Mieke Grypdonck, Sofie Verhaeghe, and Nele Van Den Noortgate. 2019. “Cancer Patients’ Experiences of Communicating and Dealing with Their Older Parents : a Qualitative Study.” European Journal of Oncology Nursing 38: 98–103.
Vancouver
1.
Van Humbeeck L, Dillen L, Piers R, Grypdonck M, Verhaeghe S, Van Den Noortgate N. Cancer patients’ experiences of communicating and dealing with their older parents : a qualitative study. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF ONCOLOGY NURSING. 2019;38:98–103.
IEEE
[1]
L. Van Humbeeck, L. Dillen, R. Piers, M. Grypdonck, S. Verhaeghe, and N. Van Den Noortgate, “Cancer patients’ experiences of communicating and dealing with their older parents : a qualitative study,” EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF ONCOLOGY NURSING, vol. 38, pp. 98–103, 2019.
@article{8591324,
  abstract     = {Purpose: In 2017 almost 25,000 Belgians between 40 and 60 years (38% of new diagnoses) were diagnosed with cancer. With increasing life expectancy the chance augments that these patients still have older parents alive. This implies that oncology care should also take into account the impact cancer may have on (the relationship with) older parents. The purpose of this study was to explore how cancer patients communicate and deal with their older parents during the illness trajectory. 
Method: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 11 cancer patients. Interview transcripts were analysed using the principles of the constructivist Grounded Theory Approach. 
Results: Depending on the situation, the time frame and the person the patients are talking about, cancer patients oscillate between perspectives (I, They and We). A common denominator in all three perspectives is silence fuelled by different forms of solicitude (self-protection and other-protection). This solicitude underpins the cancer patients' communicative behaviours and ways of relating towards their parents. 
Conclusions: Present findings underline the importance of health care providers considering the often hidden complexity of giving information and talking about feelings. Nurses' strategies must be designed not to harm the existing mechanism of solicitude and the diligent management of the patients' relationship with their parents. Conversations about functionality of avoiding certain topics and the impetus behind certain communicative patterns should be put forward instead of consensually advising open communication.},
  author       = {Van Humbeeck, Liesbeth and Dillen, Let and Piers, Ruth and Grypdonck, Mieke and Verhaeghe, Sofie and Van Den Noortgate, Nele},
  issn         = {1462-3889},
  journal      = {EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF ONCOLOGY NURSING},
  keywords     = {Interaction,Older parent,Patient,Qualitative study,Cancer,Relationship,Process,Communication,Experiences,FAMILY CAREGIVERS,BREAST-CANCER,ADULT CHILDREN,PSYCHOLOGICAL DISTRESS,OF-LIFE,MOTHERS,DIAGNOSIS,DAUGHTERS,ILLNESS,PREDICTORS},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {98--103},
  title        = {Cancer patients' experiences of communicating and dealing with their older parents : a qualitative study},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejon.2018.12.005},
  volume       = {38},
  year         = {2019},
}

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