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Existential issues among health care staff in surgical cancer care - discussions in supervision sessions.
2011 (English)In: European Journal of Oncology Nursing, ISSN 1462-3889, E-ISSN 1532-2122, Vol. 15, no 5, p. 447-53Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

PURPOSE: The aim was, through analysis of dialogues in supervision sessions, to explore if health care staff in surgical care discussed existential issues when caring for cancer patients.

METHOD: A secondary analysis of the content of twelve tape-recorded supervision sessions (18 h) was conducted. The study analysed the dialogue content in supervision sessions involving a group of eight participants who worked at a surgical clinic at a county hospital in central Sweden. The sessions were held every third week during the course of one year.

RESULTS: The analysis showed that surgical health care staff contemplates existential issues. The staff discussed their existential dilemmas, which hindered them from meeting and dealing with patients' existential questions. This is illustrated in the themes: "feelings of powerlessness", "identifying with patients", and "getting close or keeping one's distance". The staff also discussed the fact that patients expressed existential distress, which is illustrated in the themes: "feelings of despair" and "feelings of isolation".

CONCLUSIONS: This study shows that there are existential issues at a surgical clinic which health care staff need to acknowledge. The staff find themselves exposed to existential dilemmas when caring for cancer patients. They are conscious of patients' existential issues, but lack strategies for dealing with this. This study highlights a need to provide support to staff for developing an existential approach, which will boost their confidence in their encounters with patients.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 15, no 5, p. 447-53
National Category
Nursing
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:esh:diva-7410DOI: 10.1016/j.ejon.2010.11.010PubMedID: 21159553OAI: oai:DiVA.org:esh-7410DiVA, id: diva2:1305391
Available from: 2019-04-16 Created: 2019-04-16 Last updated: 2019-04-17Bibliographically approved

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Udo, CamillaMelin-Johansson, Christina
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