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Relevance of philosophy of life and optimism for psychological distress among individuals in a stage where death is approaching.
Uppsala University, Medicinska vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences.
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2006 In: Support Care Cancer, Vol. 14, no 4, 310-319 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 14, no 4, 310-319 p.
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-95480OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-95480DiVA: diva2:169712
Available from: 2007-02-28 Created: 2007-02-28Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Hope and Despair: Philosophy of life, expectations and optimism in cancer patients and their spouses
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Hope and Despair: Philosophy of life, expectations and optimism in cancer patients and their spouses
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The general aim was to explore philosophy of life, expectations and optimism in patients and spouses in two different cancer situations, and to determine whether these aspects had relevance for psychological distress and quality of life. The first situation was being newly diagnosed with advanced cancer. Data on philosophy of life, optimism and psychological distress were gathered on one occasion (I). In addition, changes in life were described using a qualitative approach in a sub-sample (II). The second situation was having completed curative cancer treatment. Data on expectations for the recovery period, optimism, psychological distress and quality of life were gathered on three occasions (III). Moreover, expectations and how these turned out were described using a qualitative approach in a sub-sample (IV). The results show that being diagnosed with an advanced cancer influenced aspects of patients’ and spouses’ philosophy of life, including that existential questions were common and were related to higher psychological distress (I). All experienced substantial mental changes in life, often also physical, practical and sometimes positive changes. Patients more often seemed to accept their situation and prepared themselves for death, whereas spouses had more difficulties in handling the situation (II). Patients who had completed curative treatment generally had higher expectations for the recovery period than did their spouses, and patients expectations were fulfilled to a lesser degree, however, this generally had little importance for psychological distress or quality of life (III). Patients’ expectation for their recovery period was generally that they would get well. For those whose recovery period had been tough, expectations were often unfulfilled, but they were often satisfied with their current life anyway owing to positive changes (IV). Being optimistic was the most beneficial for decreased psychological distress in both samples, as well as for better quality of life in the recovery group (I, III).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2007. 67 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 228
Keyword
Caring sciences, philosophy of life, expectations, optimism, advanced cancer, curative cancer, recovery, spouses, Vårdvetenskap
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-7580 (URN)978-91-554-6805-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2007-03-23, Sal IX, Universitetsbyggnaden, Övre Slottsgatan 2, Uppsala, 13:00
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Available from: 2007-02-28 Created: 2007-02-28Bibliographically approved

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