An Interpretive Phenomenological Exploration of Quality of Life Issues in Autologous Blood Cell Transplant Recipients

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Joyce, Patricia (2005) An Interpretive Phenomenological Exploration of Quality of Life Issues in Autologous Blood Cell Transplant Recipients. Research Master thesis, Victoria University.


Autologous blood cell transplantation (ABCT) has been successfully used to treat a variety of haematological cancers and some solid tumours. The number of patients who are long term survivors and free of disease following this treatment is growing rapidly. To enable nurses and health care workers to provide optimal supportive care for these patients, an understanding of how the transplant has affected their quality of life (QOL) is essential. In the last two decades numerous studies have focused on QOL issues in this patient group. However, the majority of these studies tend to approach QOL from a bio-physiological perspective, generating knowledge about the treatment and its side effects. Little is known about the patients' experiences and how they interpret their QOL in the years following their transplants. The purpose of this study was to explore QOL issues from the perspectives of 12 patients who had undergone an ABCT. Heideggerian phenomenology (interpretive phenomenology) was chosen as the theoretical framework for the study, as it allows for the transparent world of people's everyday lived experiences to be illuminated, and so reveal how they interpret their QOL. The aims of this study was to gain a deeper understanding of QOL issues through the participants interpretations of their experiences, and to uncover themes and different patterns of meaning which embody the participants' QOL. Data was collected through in-depth, unstructured interviews with each participant. Thematic analysis, exemplars and paradigm cases were utilised to present the participants' interpretations of their QOL. The findings showed that the participants' QOL was influenced by their interpretations of embodiment, being in time, being in society and re-appraisal of life. The findings also revealed that QOL following an ABCT is a highly individualised, dynamic experience that depends on the challenges the participants confront in their everyday lives. As the participants re-interpreted their lives following their transplants, their perspectives on their QOL changed. For some this was a positive experience, but for others their QOL diminished. The implication of this study is that nurses must be committed to providing individualised, patient focused care following an ABCT. The findings of this study offer a deeper understanding of patients' everyday lived experiences and their QOL following an ABCT, and will enable nurses and other health professionals to develop supportive care infrastructure to assist patients during their recoveries, thus improving their QOL.

Additional Information

Master of Health Science

Item type Thesis (Research Master thesis)
Subjects Historical > RFCD Classification > 320000 Medical and Health Sciences
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Nursing and Midwifery
Keywords quality of life; autologous blood cell; transplant recipients
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