Making decisions in advanced cancer : the lived experience of women and their relevant others
Hubbard Murdoch, Natasha Lee
This descriptive phenomenology had two purposes: first, to explore the experience of making decisions for women with advanced cancer; and second, to explore the experience for significant others and health care team members as women made their decisions. A plethora of research exists on making decisions during the cancer experience, including research regarding: 1) decision-making styles; 2) factors or determinants which play a role in decision making; 3) information: needs, seeking behaviours, and utilization; and 4) decision support technologies. However, a gap exists in the literature regarding the experience of making decisions. Conversational interviews were conducted with five women and three relevant others for each woman: her primary nurse, her oncologist, and one significant other. Women were also provided with the opportunity to journal in a diary or email their memories of decisions and the surrounding experience. Van Manen’s (1990) phenomenology guided the analysis of data. For the women, analysis centered on the four existentials of lived time, lived other, lived space, and lived body, revealing four themes of the lived experience of making decisions: 1) control, 2) influence, 3) normalcy, and 4) vulnerability. Phenomenological analysis on data from the significant others revealed three themes: 1) what used to be, 2) power shift, and 3) ‘life on hold.’ Themes for the health care team’s experience as women made decisions were: 1) emotional detachment, 2) discomfort, and 3) acquiescing. Understanding the perspectives from these lived experiences will assist the health care team to support women, and their significant others, through the experience of making decisions.
DegreeMaster of Nursing (M.N.)
DepartmentCollege of Nursing
ProgramCollege of Nursing
SupervisorMontbriand, Muriel; Duggleby, Wendy
CommitteeStamler, Lynnette Leeseberg; Lovrod, Marie; Goodridge, Donna; Wright, Karen