Living with chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy: Uncovering the symptom experience and self-management of neuropathic symptoms among cancer survivors

Choi Wan Chan, Huilin Cheng, Siu Kie Au, Kwun To Leung, Yu Chung Li, Kam Hung Wong, Alex Molassiotis

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The study aimed at uncovering the symptom experience of neurotoxicity, self-adopted approaches and perspectives in managing chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathic (CIPN) symptoms in a sample of Chinese cancer survivors. Methods: A qualitative descriptive study was used to explore individual experiences. A purposive sample of 12 female participants experiencing CIPN was invited to semi-structured interviews who were part of a larger prospective observational study investigating the natural progression and risk factors of CIPN. Textual interview data were managed in NVivo. Content analysis was used. Results: Participants were aged 41–64 years and experienced moderate to severe neuropathic symptoms from 5 to 23 months after completion of a six-cycle chemotherapy regimens at reported during the interviews. Four categories emerged from the qualitative data, namely, (1) experience come to reality: characteristics of CIPN symptoms, (2) disruptions and perceived threat: ability to perform activities and resume work, (3) re-establishing an ‘at least satisfactory level of well-being’ and (4) views of and approaches in managing neuropathic symptoms. Conclusions: The characteristics of CIPN symptoms causing disruptions in functional and/or psychosocial well-being from the patients’ perspectives and the self-help strategies used to manage symptoms showed a need to provide quality multidisciplinary supportive care, focusing on restoring functional and psychosocial well-being, and enhancing knowledge about symptom assessment and evidence-based strategies for empowering cancer survivors to cope with this complex symptom.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-141
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Oncology Nursing
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018


  • Cancer
  • Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy
  • Hong Kong Chinese
  • Qualitative research
  • Symptom experience
  • Symptom management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology(nursing)

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