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Self-management strategies used by head and neck cancer survivors following completion of primary treatment: A directed content analysis

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Linda Sharp


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© 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Objective: Head and neck cancer (HNC) survivors encounter unique challenges following treatment. This study aimed to identify self-management strategies that HNC survivors use to overcome these posttreatment challenges. Methods: Twenty-seven individuals from 4 designated cancer centres in Ireland were interviewed about self-management strategies that helped them overcome challenges following HNC treatment. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and analysed using directed content analysis. Results: Twenty self-management strategy types (encompassing 77 specific strategies) were identified. The most frequently used self-management strategy types were self-sustaining (used by 26 survivors), self-motivating (n = 25), and proactive problem solving (n = 25). The most frequently used specific strategies were adaptive approaches to ongoing physical consequences of HNC and its treatment (n = 24), customising dietary practices (n = 24), and maintaining a positive outlook (n = 22). Conclusions: The study identified strategies that helped HNC survivors to self-manage posttreatment challenges. This information could inform the design/development of self-management interventions tailored towards HNC survivors.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Dunne S, Mooney O, Coffey L, Sharp L, Timmons A, Desmond D, Gooberman-Hill R, O'Sullivan E, Keogh I, Timon C, Gallagher P

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Psycho-Oncology

Year: 2017

Volume: 26

Issue: 12

Pages: 2194-2200

Print publication date: 01/12/2017

Online publication date: 28/04/2017

Acceptance date: 26/04/2017

ISSN (print): 1057-9249

ISSN (electronic): 1099-1611

Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Ltd


DOI: 10.1002/pon.4447


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