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  • 1.
    Röing, Marta
    et al.
    Uppsala University Hospital, Sweden.
    Hirsch, Jan M.
    Uppsala University Hospital, Sweden.
    Holmström, Inger
    Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Ways of understanding the encounter with head and neck cancer patients in the hospital dental team - a phenomenographic study2006In: Supportive Care in Cancer, ISSN 0941-4355, E-ISSN 1433-7339, Vol. 14, no 10, p. 1046-1054Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction: Head and neck cancer is the sixth most common malignancy in the world. Fifty percent of the patients can be cured by surgery, radiotherapy or a combination approach. Head and neck cancer is life-threatening, and treatment may leave the patient with visible facial disfigurements and impairment of functions such as speech and eating. This affects not only the patient, but may arouse difficult feelings in the treatment staff. Dental personnel are involved in all facets of treatment, yet they have no specific training in cancer care. Background: The aim of this study was to describe the variation in ways dental personnel understand and experience the encounter with head and neck cancer patients, as the way of understanding a certain phenomenon is judged to be fundamental to the way we act and form our beliefs. Methods: Twenty members of hospital dental teams were interviewed. The interviews focused on experiences of the encounter with head and neck cancer patients. A qualitative research approach, phenomenography, was used in analysing the interviews. The encounter was perceived in three qualitatively different ways: as an act of caring, as a serious and responsible task and as an overwhelming emotional situation. The results indicate that hospital dental personnel are not able to lean on education and professional training in finding ways of dealing with situations with strong emotional impact. This has implications for the treatment of patients with head and neck cancer, as well as education of dental personnel.

  • 2.
    Röing, Marta
    et al.
    Uppsala universitet, Sweden.
    Hirsch, Jan-Michaél
    Uppsala universitet, Sweden.
    Holmström, Inger
    Uppsala universitet, Sweden.
    The uncanny mouth - a phenomenological approach to oral cancer2007In: Patient Education and Counseling, ISSN 0738-3991, E-ISSN 1873-5134, Vol. 67, no 3, p. 301-306Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective: The aim of this retrospective qualitative study was to describe how patients with oral cancer experience their sickness and treatment. Methods: A purposeful sample of seven patients with oral cancer was interviewed. Data were analysed using a phenomenological approach outlined by van Manen. Results: The essence of the patients' experiences can be described as embodiment in a mouth that has become unreal, or 'uncanny'. At treatment start the body is invaded by cancer, during treatment there is no escape from a wounded mouth, at treatment end the mouth is disabled. Conclusions: The findings indicate that oral cancer patients' need for support may increase as treatment progresses and may be greatest at end of radiotherapy, as they return home with mouths that have not recovered after treatment and do not function normally. Practice implications: This suggests the importance of understanding the patients' situation during treatment and their desire for a return to normal living and normal mouth functions at treatment end. If possible, plans for oral rehabilitation should be considered in initial treatment planning. As the treatment of oral cancer is multiprofessional, this knowledge may be useful in guiding the organization of oral cancer care and multiprofessional collaboration.

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  • de-DE
  • en-GB
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