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Blogging through cancer: young women's persistent problems shared online. Cancer Nurs 2013 Mar-Apr;36(2):163-72

Date

04/13/2012

Pubmed ID

22495504

DOI

10.1097/NCC.0b013e31824eb879

Scopus ID

2-s2.0-84874281744   47 Citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Many young women have turned to illness blogs to describe their lived experience with cancer. Blogs represent an untapped source of knowledge for researchers and clinicians.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this qualitative, exploratory study was to describe the life disruptions caused by cancer among young women, as well as to understand the facilitators and barriers in accessing healthcare services during and after active treatment.

METHODS: Sixteen Internet illness blogs were analyzed among women, aged between 20 and 39 years, diagnosed with cancer. These blogs were analyzed based on phenomenological qualitative methods and thematic analysis.

RESULTS: There were 4 dimensions of persistent problems that were articulated in the narratives of the young women without any relief. They included pain and fatigue, insurance and financial barriers, concerns related to fertility, and symptoms of posttraumatic stress and anxiety.

CONCLUSION: The young women's narratives capture fear, uncertainty, anger, and the debilitating nature of these persistent issues. Many of the women expressed their lingering physical, psychosocial, and emotional problems.

IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: Online illness narratives are a naturalistic form of inquiry that allows nurses to understand the experience of the patient through their own words and accounts. This study provides a foundation for nursing-based interventions that transcend traditional clinic experiences.

Author List

Keim-Malpass J, Baernholdt M, Erickson JM, Ropka ME, Schroen AT, Steeves RH

Author

Jeanne M. Erickson PhD, RN Associate Professor in the College of Nursing department at University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee




MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Adult
Anxiety
Blogging
Breast Neoplasms
Carcinoma, Intraductal, Noninfiltrating
Carcinoma, Lobular
Fatigue
Female
Fertility
Financial Management
Humans
Insurance, Health
Pain
Stress, Psychological
Virginia