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Exploring Stigma Among Lung Cancer Survivors: A Scoping Literature Review

Lisa A. Webb
Karen Kane McDonnell
Swann Arp Adams
Rachel E. Davis
Tisha M. Felder
ONF 2019, 46(4), 402-418 DOI: 10.1188/19.ONF.402-418

Problem Identification: Lung cancer survivors face many challenges that affect their quality of life and survival. A growing concern is the layered effect of stigma related to cigarette smoking and the perceived life-threatening diagnosis of lung cancer. This experience may affect lung cancer survivors’ physical, psychological, and social well-being, negatively influencing their quality of life.

Literature Search: CINAHL®, PubMed®, PsycINFO®, and Web of Science were searched from January 2000 through August 2017, using combinations of four keywords: lung cancer, lung neoplasm, stigma, and smoking.

Data Evaluation: Extracted data included research aims, design, method, analytical approach, sample size, gender, ethnicity/race, setting, stigma measure, smoking status, and major results.

Synthesis: Of 163 studies initially identified, 30 (19 quantitative, 8 qualitative, 2 theoretical reviews, and 1 mixed method) were included. Quantitative studies were analyzed by statistical significance and relevant findings. Thematic analysis was used to evaluate qualitative studies.

Implications for Research: Future research should focus on the development and testing of tailored and multilevel interventions to support the management of stigma and lessen the negative impact it has on quality of life, with special considerations for vulnerable subpopulations.

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