Experience of hope for older patients with incurable cancer – a qualitative study using semi-structured individual interviews

Christina Louise Lindhardt, Stine Braendegaard Winther, Per Pfeiffer, Jesper Ryg

Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftPaperForskningpeer review


Introduction: Cancer treatment has become increasingly successful; however, many patients are not cured and prolonging life becomes an important goal of therapy. The perception of life changes when patients are informed that no curative treatment is available. This raises new dilemmas for patients with incurable cancer, but only sparse information is available about the thoughts of these patients. The aim of this study was to explore how the information affects and is experienced by older patients. Material and Methods: We used a qualitative approach and data were collected through semi-structured individual interviews conducted at the hospital or by telephone interviews by an experienced researcher. The study sample comprised eleven patients with incurable upper gastrointestinal cancer receiving first-line palliative chemotherapy (Median age 73 years). The thematic analysis was inspired by Braun & Clarke. Results: The interview findings were grouped around three main themes: hope of being cured, hearing but not comprehending, and desired milestones to reach. Further, it was determined that patients hid their feelings and avoided talking about their disease with the doctor due to fear of being told the truth. Conclusions: Receiving information about their incurable cancer by the doctor was an ongoing dilemma for the patients. Following the message, patients shared thoughts about reaching important milestones in life, spending time with their family, or hope for a cure to be found before it was too late. Most patients were afraid to talk with their doctor about the prognosis but still had hope for the nearest future.
Publikationsdatojun. 2020
StatusUdgivet - jun. 2020
Begivenhed25th Nordic Congress of Gerontology - Reykjavik, Island
Varighed: 3. jun. 20206. jun. 2020


Konference25th Nordic Congress of Gerontology