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J Psychosoc Oncol. 2010;28(6):699-717. doi: 10.1080/07347332.2010.516808.

"Sometimes you just have to walk alone"--meanings of emotional support among Danish-born and migrant cancer patients.

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  • 1Department of Health Services Research, Institute of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.


The study explores differences and similarities in needs for and experiences with emotional support among Danish-born and migrant cancer patients. Qualitative narrative interviews with 18 adult cancer patients were conducted. Analysis was inspired by phenomenological methods. Migrant patients experienced more dispersed social networks compared to Danish-born patients. However, common difficulties in asking for and receiving emotional support were related to cancer being perceived as a fatal disease among the social network, and this lead to fear among patients that articulating needs for support would result in loss of normality and nonpatient identity.

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