Illness Experience of Older Persons with Advanced Prostate Cancer.

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Nuthchavapornkul Khunchompoo
Jiraporn Kespichayawattana

Abstract

            The purpose of this study was to discover illness experience of older persons with advanced prostate cancer. A qualitative research method of Heidegger’s phenomenology was applied as a methodology of this study. The subjects providing the majority of the data were thirteen older persons with metastatic prostate cancer, who were treated with Androgen Deprivation Therapy (ADT) including orchiectomy and medication at least 6 months or more. Data were collected by in-depth interview. The interviews were tape-recorded and used verbatim transcription. The data were analyzed using content analysis. The research findings on the illness experience of older persons with advanced prostate cancer included following:
             1. The meaning of illness experience with advanced prostate cancer in the older persons refers to a disease that appears to be mild but blood test level needs to be monitored.
            2. Illness experience of older persons with advanced prostate cancer included 6 main topics: 1) Feeling shocked at first but accept that anyone can get this disease, 2) Life changing, 3) Understanding from wife and increased ties, 4) Increase interest in self-care, 5) Encouragement to continue living, and 6) Accepting death.
            This study provided better understanding of the meaning and illness experience of older persons with advanced prostate cancer. Implications of the study can be applied in caring and understanding older persons and results can be used to develop a guideline for assessing an older person's holistic care needs in order to promote a good quality of life.

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