Special Issue

Still lost in transition: a qualitative descriptive study of people’s experiences following treatment completion for haematological cancer in Wales, UK

12 Dec 2019
Tessa E Watts, Janet Bower

The aim of this study was to explore Welsh adults’ experiences of the transition into survivorship from initial active systemic anti-cancer treatments for haematological cancers. An exploratory, qualitative descriptive study consisting of in-depth, face-to-face interviews was designed. A convenience sample of adults in Wales, UK, who had completed their initial systemic anti-cancer treatment for haematological cancer was recruited from one University Health Board. Data were generated in digitally recorded, individual, face-to-face interviews during 2017. Interviews were fully transcribed and analysed using a qualitative thematic approach.

Seven people participated in interviews. Thematic analysis revealed three themes: encountering ambiguity, the pursuit of normality and navigating treatment completion. The transition from patient to survivor was characterised by trepidation and uncertainty. While participants sought to resume a sense of normality in their lives, they were beset by enduring treatment effects. They felt insufficiently prepared for these effects and were uncertain about the availability of the ongoing supportive care which met their individual needs. Participants articulated that they desired much more from haematology providers in preparing them for life beyond initial SACT.

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