The lived experience of primary liver cancer patients in Korea

Tuesday, 19 November 2013: 9:10 AM

Eunsuk Lee, PhD, RN
College of Nursing, Kent State University, Kent, OH
Joyce J. Fitzpatrick, PhD, RN, FAAN
Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to the unique phenomenon of cancer experiences at the end of life.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to identify areas of needed intervention and develop culturally competent research models and transcultural research framework.

Liver cancer has been one of the major public health problems among all racial and ethnic groups causing fatal physical and psychological changes and frequently involved with emotional distress.

The purpose of the study is to explore the lived experiences of liver cancer patients in Korea. In this qualitative study, a phenomenological research design was utilized. To collect the qualitative data, open-ended questions were used.

The theoretical framework was guided by the Fitzpatrick’s Live Perspective Rhythm Model (1983) on human rhythmic patterns for populations experiencing crisis. A convenient sample of 40 primary liver cancer patients, over 20 year of age, was recruited from the Keimyung University Hospital and Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital until the data saturation point was reached.

The recorded interviews were transcribed verbatim into Korean. The transcribed Korean text was translated into English and. To reduce discrepancies, back translation from English into Korean was executed and confirmed by two bilingual experts. The verified English version of the transcription was used for content analysis which was categorized into themes based on Giorgi’s method. Throughout the process of qualitative data analysis, ATLAS.ti  program was used.

The themes were categorized: 24 of the depressive symptom-related themes (n=40), 17 of the spiritual distress-related themes (n=38), 6 of the other negative themes (n=38), and 20 of the positive themes (n=40). Findings may assist nurses and other healthcare professionals to provide cost-effective health care.

The knowledge gained through this investigation will be directly useful for practicing nurses and clinicians to increase self-confidence by understanding the unique phenomenon of cancer experiences at the end of life. The study results may provide useful resources for health professionals targeting an increase in positive affect, spiritual connections and meanings, health outcomes as well as identifying areas of needed intervention, transcultural research, and developing culturally competent research models.