Self-management strategies used by head and neck cancer survivors following completion of primary treatment: a directed content analysis
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Dunne, Simon; Mooney, Orla; Coffey, Laura; Sharp, Linda; Timmons, Aileen; Desmond, Deirdre; Gooberman-Hill, Rachael; O'Sullivan, Eleanor; Keogh, Ivan; Timon, Conrad; Gallagher, Pamela (2017). Self-management strategies used by head and neck cancer survivors following completion of primary treatment: a directed content analysis. Psycho-Oncology 26 (12), 2194-2200
ObjectiveHead and neck cancer (HNC) survivors encounter unique challenges following treatment. This study aimed to identify self-management strategies that HNC survivors use to overcome these posttreatment challenges. MethodsTwenty-seven individuals from 4 designated cancer centres in Ireland were interviewed about self-management strategies that helped them overcome challenges following HNC treatment. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and analysed using directed content analysis. ResultsTwenty self-management strategy types (encompassing 77 specific strategies) were identified. The most frequently used self-management strategy types were self-sustaining (used by 26 survivors), self-motivating (n=25), and proactive problem solving (n=25). The most frequently used specific strategies were adaptive approaches to ongoing physical consequences of HNC and its treatment (n=24), customising dietary practices (n=24), and maintaining a positive outlook (n=22). ConclusionsThe study identified strategies that helped HNC survivors to self-manage posttreatment challenges. This information could inform the design/development of self-management interventions tailored towards HNC survivors.