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Experiences of cancer rehabilitation among patients in rural areas in northern Iceland: physical and psychosocial well-being, coping, quality of life, and satisfaction with care. A qualitative study

Authors
  • Björnsdóttir, Eygló Brynja1
  • Hjörleifsdóttir, Elísabet2
  • Sigurðardóttir, Þórhalla1
  • Baruchello, Giorgio2
  • Þormóðsson, Finnbogi Rútur2
  • 1 Akureyri Regional Hospital, Iceland , (Iceland)
  • 2 University of Akureyri, Iceland , (Iceland)
Type
Published Article
Journal
International Journal of Circumpolar Health
Publisher
Informa UK (Taylor & Francis)
Publication Date
Jun 11, 2021
Volume
80
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1080/22423982.2021.1936974
PMID: 34114531
PMCID: PMC8204953
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Original Research Article
License
Unknown

Abstract

Physical rehabilitation and psychosocial support are a part of cancer patients well-being and their ability to cope. Physical geography and healthcare provider barriers may have negative influences on patients’ health outcomes. To explore the perceptions and experiences of cancer rehabilitation in a rural area in northern Iceland. A further aim was to explore patients’ physical and psychosocial well-being, coping and satisfaction with care. A qualitative study using semi-structured interviews and thematic analysis was completed with a purposive sample of 21 patients at a tertiary hospital in northern Iceland. Three main themes emerged: 1) Rehabilitation – the need for improved access support and continuity; 2) Coping and quality of life – balancing life as it was before cancer against the present situation in order to achieve normality; 3) Satisfaction – encountering caring behaviours enhances satisfaction and well-being. Specifically targeted rehabilitation programmes need to be included in the treatment options for cancer patients. Survival instinct, coping mechanisms and a strong urge to maintain general functionality are of paramount importance intertwined with patients’ ability to cope with the disease and treatment, and their satisfaction with care.

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