Illness Perception in Relation to Cancer Care Settings and Healthcare Information
A.C. Johansson1,2, M. Axelsson3, I. Berndtsson1, E. Brink1
1University West, Department of Nursing, Health and Culture, Trollhättan, Sweden
2University of Gothenburg, Sahlgrenska Academy, Gothenburg, Sweden
3Malmö University, Department of Care Science, Malmö, Sweden
Background: Our knowledge about illness perceptions among persons treated for colorectal cancer (CRC) and their partners is incomplete, as is our knowledge about how the context of cancer care environments affects illness perceptions. The aim of the present study was to explore illness perception in relation to cancer care settings and healthcare information among CRC survivors and their partners. Methods: Nine survivors and nine partners were interviewed, and grounded theory was undertaken, using the method presented by Katy Charmaz. Findings: The results were presented in the core category Outlook on the cancer diagnosis in a ‘quick-fix’ environment, which illustrated how the illness perceptions of survivors and partners were influenced in various ways by environment and healthcare semantics as well as personal approaches and lay beliefs described in the conceptual categories outlook on the cancer diagnosis, experiencing a ‘quick-fix’ environment, approaching information and interpreting healthcare language. Discussion: Healthcare professionals should pay attention to illness perceptions among survivors and partners and adjust the information provided to different perceptions. The commonsense model of illness representations offers the practical guidance needed to recognize the potential of illness perceptions and to achieve the goals of contemporary cancer care.