Family caregivers' lived experience of caring for hospitalised patients with cancer during the COVID-19 lockdown: A descriptive phenomenological study

Haixia Ma, Tuan Zhao, Yajing Ma, John Wai Man Yuen, Ho Ka Yan, Jolene Y.K. Yung, Katherine Ka Wai Lam, Martin Christensen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Aims: This study aimed to capture and explore family caregivers' lived experience of caring for hospitalised patients with cancer during the lockdown. Background: The unprecedented lockdown episodes due to COVID-19 have brought significant changes in the hospital visiting policies and caregiving practices. As part of the precautionary measures for hospital visits, the bedside companion was restricted to one caregiver for patients with cancer in Shanghai hospitals. Design: This study adopted a descriptive phenomenological approach. Methods: Data were collected among 20 family caregivers recruited from the Oncology department of a tertiary hospital in Shanghai in May 2022, using purposive sampling method and followed by unstructured, open-ended interviews. Colaizzi's seven-step data analysis method was used to analyse the data to reveal the emergent themes and subthemes of the phenomenon. Results: Four themes were generated on family caregivers' lived experience of caring for hospitalised patients with cancer during the lockdown, including (1) Feeling scared for the patient; (2) Living a life feeling trapped under COVID-19 surveillance; (3) Feeling neglected and unseen; (4) Growing resilience and appreciation. Conclusions: The lockdown exacerbated the burden of family caregivers when they cared for the hospitalised patients with cancer during the lockdown period. However, positive reframing of the lived experience facilitated their coping with the challenging situation. Relevance to Clinical Practice: Findings from this study highlighted the potential proactive roles the healthcare providers could play in improving family caregivers' health and supporting them during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. Reporting Method: The study adhered to relevant EQUATOR guidelines; the study was reported according to the COREQ checklist. Patient or Public Contribution: Family caregivers of patients with cancer were involved in data collection and member-checking of the transcripts and interpretations of their experiences.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023

Keywords

  • cancer
  • caregivers
  • COVID-19
  • descriptive phenomenology
  • lived experience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing

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