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Experiences of Japanese Patients With Colorectal Cancer During the First Six Months After Surgery

Michiyo Mizuno
Miho Kakuta
Yuriko Ono
Akiko Kato
Yumiko Inoue
ONF 2007, 34(4), 869-876 DOI: 10.1188/07.ONF.869-876

Purpose/Objectives: To investigate the dynamic experience of patients who recently experienced the stressful situation of being diagnosed with colorectal cancer and undergoing surgery.

Research Approach: A qualitative and inductive inquiry.

Setting: General hospitals in Japan.

Participants:12 patients who had undergone colorectal cancer surgery and had been discharged in the previous six months.

Methodologic Approach: To inductively elicit the findings from patients' real experiences, interviews and qualitative analysis were used.

Main Research Variables: Experience of patients with colorectal cancer.

Findings: Three domains that symbolized experiences of patients with colorectal cancer during the first six months after surgery emerged: types of burdens, steps in accepting the cancer diagnosis, and way of living a normal life. Burdens included vulnerability, lack of control, asking for assistance or support, and a "why has this happened to me?" attitude. Way of living a normal life included resisting vulnerability, constructing a daily living routine, and asking for help.

Conclusions: Although patients faced many and varied burdens, they were able to take several actions to gradually accept their cancer diagnoses and resume normal lives.

Interpretation: Some of the patients were sincere and skillful in asking for help to live normal lives, but others found that difficult. The present findings are significant in helping nurses provide interventions to enable patients to make use of assistance or support.

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