Integrating the experience of serious illness by young survivors of an oncological disease

Asist. med. Ileana Cătălina Purice1,2
1Spital Medlife Brașov, România,2Hematologie

Primit: 4.07.2021 • Acceptat pentru ublicare: 25.08.2021


The aim of this study is to show how young survivors were affected by being patient with a serious illness and how they managed to integrate it into their lives.

Objectives: assessing this young people according to the 4 dimensions (physical, psychological, spiritual and social), evaluating the level of development and interpersonal integration, evaluating the relationship with the family, others and God.

Material and method: the study is a prospective, qualitative one. For this study I chose to interview semi-structured and semi-directed 3 young people who were diagnosed with cancer at different ages. The data collection was done with the help of the audio-video interview. The type of analysis used is the “pile method” or open analysis.

Results, discussions: The integration of the experience of illness and physical suffering, were challenges for each of the 3 cases and was done through acceptance, learning and overcoming. In the relationship with the divinity the experiences are different and in the relationship with the family only patient 3 stated that nothing has changed. Two of the 3 participants wanted to send positive messages to those in similar situations.

Conclusions: According to the philosophy of palliative care, human suffering is not only physical. Although 2 of the participants said that they were more bothered by the physical pain, it can be seen that the real scars are in the soul. If participant 2 feared that he would no longer be a “normal person”, participant 3 worried about his sports career, football remaining a memory. The young people in this study were able to integrate the experience of serious illness and it is confirmed that there may be life during the disease and after the illness.

Keywords: young people, cancer survivors, semi-structured and semi-structured interview, photovoice method

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