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The experience of food, eating and meals following radiotherapy for head and neck cancer: a qualitative study
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical Sciences, Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery.
2013 (English)In: Journal of Clinical Nursing, ISSN 0962-1067, E-ISSN 1365-2702, Vol. 22, no 7-8, 1034-1043 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aims and objectives To describe the experience of food, eating and meals following radiotherapy in patients with head and neck cancer. Background Eating problems are common in patients with head and neck cancer and may remain for a long period of time after treatment. Design A qualitative study design using in-depth semi-structured interviews. Methods Interviews were conducted nine months after the termination of radiotherapy. A purposive sample of thirteen patients with head and neck cancer participated in the study. The interviews were tape-recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using content analysis. Results The experience of food, eating and meals up to nine months after radiotherapy was captured in six categories: A long journey taking small steps to an uncertain future', A new way of eating', Eating without satisfaction', Challenging meals outside the family', Support and information the key to a successful journey' and The creation and acceptance of a new normal'. Conclusion This study provides new information on the long-term aspects of food, eating and meals in patients with head and neck cancer. Head and neck cancer signifies a long journey with problems affecting physical, psychological and social aspects of food. Information and support and the use of strategies are important for patients with head and neck cancer to adapt to new possibilities for living after cancer treatment. Relevance to clinical practice All members of the multiprofessional team need to be aware of the struggles with food and eating experienced by patients with head and neck cancer during the convalescent period. It is therefore important that the follow-up focuses on all aspects of food, eating and meals as a part of a holistic approach.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 22, no 7-8, 1034-1043 p.
Keyword [en]
content analysis, eating, food, head and neck cancer, lived experience, meals, radiotherapy
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-198905DOI: 10.1111/jocn.12151ISI: 000316148500015OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-198905DiVA: diva2:619273
Available from: 2013-05-02 Created: 2013-04-29 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved

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Laurell, Göran

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