Identifying and exploring the self-management strategies used by childhood cancer survivors.

Morven Brown, Anna Haste, Vera Araújo-Soares, Roderick Skinner, Linda Sharp

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PurposeChildhood cancer survivors (CCSs) are at increased risk of chronic health problems.Effective self-management could help CCSs cope with the challenges that accompanysurvivorship, and reduce their risk of developing further health problems. There is littleevidence about the extent to which CCSs engage with self-management and thespecific strategies they use. This study aimed to identify and explore the strategies thatCCSs use to manage the consequences of cancer.MethodsTwenty-four CCSs were recruited via follow-up clinics. Participants completed a semi-structured interview which was audio-recorded and transcribed. Directed contentanalysis was used to identify self-reported self-management strategies and categorisethem into main self-management types.ResultsCCSs reported 118 specific self-management strategies which fell under 20 main self-management strategy types. All CCSs reported using several main self-managementstrategy types and specific self-management strategies. Main strategy types used byall CCSs were: ‘adopting a healthy lifestyle’, ‘self-motivating’, ‘using support’, a ‘reasoned decision making’ and ‘creating a healthy environment’. The most commonspecific self-management strategies were: ‘receiving family support’ (n=20) and‘attending follow-up and screening appointments’ (n=20).ConclusionsThis is the first study which has enabled CCSs to self-report the numerous strategiesthey employ to look after their health and wellbeing, contributing to a morecomprehensive picture of self-management in CCSs.Implications for Cancer SurvivorsThese findings may increase healthcare professionals’ awareness of the many ways inwhich CCSs manage their health and is a valuable first step in the development of asupported self-management intervention for CCSs in follow-up care
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cancer Survivorship
Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2020


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