Building Awareness of Diagnosis Together: Ambiguity During Progression-Free Survival Experienced by Patients With Lung Cancer and Caregivers in China

Hong Yao, Xinqian Zhang, Yajie Hou, Angel Hor Yan Lai, Qianqian Zhang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background Lung cancer, as a multistep and multifactorial disease, is among the most fatal cancers worldwide. As new therapies are developed and early screening increases, patients tend to experience progression-free survival (PFS) as a coexistence of living and dying simultaneously. Objective The aim of this study was to explore the awareness context experienced by Chinese elderly patients and family members. Methods Interviews were conducted with 20 interviewees, including 13 elderly patients with lung cancer and 7 caregivers that were recruited using purposive sampling. Semistructured, face-to-face, in-depth interviews were conducted using a qualitative descriptive approach. Results Ambiguity was commonly experienced by patients with lung cancer with PFS. Three themes emerged from the data analysis: "ambiguity in cancer diagnosis,""ambiguity in prognostic awareness,"and "ambiguity in identity."In this case, ambiguity refers to a situation or context in which patients are uncertain about whether there will be a recurrence of their cancer and when it might occur. Conclusions The findings highlighted that patients experienced ambiguity in response to unclear diagnoses, uncertain prognoses, and identity crises during PFS. Implications for Practice Healthcare teams should be equipped with psychosocial knowledge and communication skills to manage ambiguity in diagnosis and prognosis for patients with PFS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)198-206
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Nursing
Volume46
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2023
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Ambiguity
  • Elderly
  • Family
  • Lung cancer
  • Progression-free survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Oncology(nursing)

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