Free
Poster Session
Issue Date: August 2016
Published Online: August 01, 2016
Updated: January 01, 2021
Managing Occupations in Everyday Life at Home for People With Advanced Cancer
Author Affiliations
  • University of Southern Denmark
  • University of Southern Denmark
  • University of Southern Denmark
  • University of Southern Denmark
Article Information
Health Services Research and Education
Poster Session   |   August 01, 2016
Managing Occupations in Everyday Life at Home for People With Advanced Cancer
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, August 2016, Vol. 70, 7011510219. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2016.70S1-PO5069
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, August 2016, Vol. 70, 7011510219. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2016.70S1-PO5069
Abstract

Date Presented 4/8/2016

Advanced cancer affects the ability to manage occupations. The purpose of this study was to describe how people with advanced cancer manage occupations, using qualitative descriptive design, semistructured interviews with 73 participants, and content analysis. Self-developed strategies enabled independence.

Primary Author and Speaker: Hanne Peoples

Additional Authors and Speakers: Åse Brandt, Karen la Cour, Eva Waehrens

PURPOSE: The purpose was to describe how people with advanced cancer manage their occupations in everyday life at home.
BACKGROUND: Early diagnosis and more effective treatment techniques have enabled people with advanced cancer to live for extended periods of time. Cancer in advanced stages can have a profound impact on the individual’s ability to manage occupations in everyday life. Palliative care is often carried out on an outpatient basis where focus tends to be on medical treatment and less on the everyday life of the individual. As a consequence, occupational needs may not be adequately identified and addressed for people with advanced cancer. Although several studies have investigated aspects of everyday life of people with advanced cancer, there is still limited empirical research on how people with advanced cancer manage their occupations at home.
DESIGN: A qualitative descriptive design was applied.
PARTICIPANTS: Participants were consecutively recruited from a Danish university hospital.
METHOD: Semistructured interviews were performed in the participant’s homes. Interviews were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim.
ANALYSIS: A content analysis was performed.
RESULTS: The sample comprised 73 participants (53% male); WHO Performance Scale: 1 (43%), 2 (49%), and 3 (6%); mean age = 68.5 yr (range = 36–89); 36% lived alone and 63% lived in a small town or rural area. The analysis resulted in a core category “Everyday life under change” and two subcategories: (1) applying strategies to manage occupations and (2) preserving a satisfying everyday life. The participants talked about an everyday life characterized by changes that affected their ability to manage valued occupations.
The study showed that people with advanced cancer struggle to preserve a familiar everyday life under change. Through self-developed strategies, the participants strove to maintain independence in valued occupations in order to preserve an everyday life they felt was worth living.
IMPACT STATEMENT: This study can contribute to the knowledge base of occupational therapy and occupational science for people with advanced cancer. The knowledge can inform future occupational therapy interventions targeted at improving engagement in the occupations people with advanced cancer find meaningful in order to enhance their quality of life.