Experience of Gastric Cancer Survivors and their Spouses in Korea: Secondary Analysis

  • Yi, Myungsun (College of Nursing Seoul National University) ;
  • Kahn, David (The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing)
  • Published : 2004.06.01

Abstract

Purpose. The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of gastric cancer couples in Korea and to generate a substantive theory integrating the experiences of gastric cancer survivors and their spouses as a whole. The specific aims of this study were to explore major problems gastric cancer couples faced and how they resolved these problems, focusing on inter-relational dynamics within the couples and on similarities and differences between the couples. Methods. This was a secondary analysis study using grounded theory techniques. The study used the data of 11 married couples which was collected from in-depth interviews from two primary studies. The unit of analysis was dyads of gastric cancer survivors and their spouses. Results. The basic social psychological process that emerged from the analysis was 'taking charge of their health.' Major categories involved in this process were identified as 1) adjusting to new diets, 2) reinforcing physical strength, 3) seeking information, 4) strengthening Ki, 5) lowering life-expectations, and 6) going their separate ways. These six categories represent major strategies in overcoming critical problems that occurred in day-to-day experiences. In terms of the process, the first five categories characterize the earlier stage of the process of 'taking charge of their health,' while 'going their separate ways' indicates the later stage and also the beginning of their separate ways: 'pursuing spiritual life' for the survivors, and 'preparing for the future' for the spouses. Conclusions. The results of this study will help design family care for the people with gastric cancer by providing in-depth understanding and insight on the lives of gastric cancer couples.

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