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Identifying and exploring the self-management strategies used by childhood cancer survivors

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Morven Brown, Dr Anna Haste, Professor Vera Araujo-Soares, Professor Roderick Skinner, Professor Linda Sharp

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Abstract

© 2020, The Author(s). Purpose: Childhood cancer survivors (CCSs) are at increased risk of chronic health problems. Effective self-management could help CCSs cope with the challenges that accompany survivorship and reduce their risk of developing further health problems. There is little evidence about the extent to which CCSs engage with self-management and the specific strategies they use. This study aimed to identify and explore the strategies that CCSs use to manage the consequences of cancer. Methods: Twenty-four CCSs were recruited via follow-up clinics. Participants completed a semi-structured interview which was audio-recorded and transcribed. Directed content analysis was used to identify self-reported self-management strategies and categorise them into main self-management types. Results: CCSs reported 118 specific self-management strategies which fell under 20 main self-management strategy types. All CCSs reported using several main self-management strategy types and specific self-management strategies. Main strategy types used by all CCSs were “adopting a healthy lifestyle”, “self-motivating”, “using support”, “reasoned decision-making” and “creating a healthy environment”. The most common specific self-management strategies were “receiving family support” (n = 20) and “attending follow-up and screening appointments” (n = 20). Conclusions: This is the first study which has enabled CCSs to self-report the numerous strategies they employ to look after their health and well-being, contributing to a more comprehensive picture of self-management in CCSs. Implications for Cancer Survivors: These findings may increase healthcare professionals’ awareness of the many ways in which CCSs manage their health and is a valuable first step in the development of a supported self-management intervention for CCSs in follow-up care.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Brown MC, Haste A, Araujo-Soares V, Skinner R, Sharp L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Cancer Survivorship

Year: 2021

Volume: 15

Pages: 344-357

Print publication date: 01/04/2021

Online publication date: 06/11/2020

Acceptance date: 05/09/2020

Date deposited: 30/06/2021

ISSN (print): 1932-2259

ISSN (electronic): 1932-2267

Publisher: Springer Nature

URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11764-020-00935-2

DOI: 10.1007/s11764-020-00935-2


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