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Oncol Nurs Forum. 2013 Jan;40(1):64-71. doi: 10.1188/13.ONF.64-71.

A double whammy: health promotion among cancer survivors with preexisting functional limitations.

Author information

1
School of Nursing, University of Texas, Austin, TX, USA. dvolker@mail.nur.utexas.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES:

To explore the experience of living with a preexisting functional disability and a cancer diagnosis and to identify strategies that promote health in the growing population of cancer survivors.

RESEARCH APPROACH:

Qualitative, descriptive.

SETTING:

Four sites in the United States.

PARTICIPANTS:

19 female cancer survivors with preexisting disabling conditions.

METHODOLOGIC APPROACH:

Four focus groups were conducted. The group discussions were audio recorded and transcribed and analyzed using content analysis techniques.

FINDINGS:

Analytic categories included living with a cancer diagnosis, health-promotion strategies, and wellness program development for survivors with preexisting functional limitations. Participants described many challenges associated with managing a cancer diagnosis on top of living with a chronic disabling functional limitation. They identified strategies to maintain health and topics in health-promotion programs tailored for this unique group of cancer survivors.

CONCLUSIONS:

The "double whammy" of a cancer diagnosis for people with preexisting functional limitations requires modification of health-promotion strategies and programs to promote wellness in this group of cancer survivors.

INTERPRETATION:

Nurses and other healthcare providers must attend to patients' preexisting conditions as well as the challenges of the physical, emotional, social, and economic sequelae of a cancer diagnosis.

KNOWLEDGE TRANSLATION:

Cancer survivors with preexisting functional disabilities had difficulties finding cancer care providers who could manage their unique needs. That may be because some cancer-care providers are inadequately prepared to care for patients with cancer who have complex preexisting conditions. Cancer survivors with preexisting conditions may benefit from health-promotion programs that emphasize self-advocacy strategies, management of the economic impact of multiple diagnoses, and wellness activities adapted to their unique functional limitations.

PMID:
23269771
PMCID:
PMC3531904
DOI:
10.1188/13.ONF.64-71
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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