Lene Seibæk

Sustaining hope and life courage in patients undergoing ovarian cancer surgery - the impact of care

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


  • L Seibaek
  • C Delmar
  • L Hounsgaard, Department of Clinical Research, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark; Department of Medicine, Holbæk Hospital, Holbæk, Denmark; Odense Exploratory Patient Network (OPEN), Odense University Hospital, Denmark. Electronic address: b.abrahamsen@physician.dk.

Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from a gynaecological malignancy in the Western World. To explore if experiences of physical comfort influenced hope and life courage during final diagnosis and early treatment, qualitative research interviews were performed with women undergoing surgery for ovarian cancer. By applying a phenomenological-hermeneutic methodology, the findings were systematically identified, put into meaning-structures, interpreted and critically discussed. The empirical material constituted a main theme concerning "Hope and life courage are created in the interplay between body and mind," where findings dealt with personal reflections and experiences in relation to the subthemes: "Experiencing discomfort," "The impact of care" and "Comfort and hope." The women's general health condition became impacted not only by their ovarian cancer disease but also by the treatment, and it was a main finding that sufficient symptom management combined with sensitive attention of the patient sustained her hope, life courage and action competences. Surgery constitutes an essential part of sufficient cancer treatment. However, the diagnostic and pre-operative phase represents an insufficiently investigated area in cancer care. Improvements are therefore vital to reduce the disease burden, and improve patients' general health and quality of life, during and after treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12562
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer Care
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018

    Research areas

  • Adult, Aged, Attitude to Health, Courage, Female, Hope, Humans, Interviews as Topic, Middle Aged, Ovarian Neoplasms/psychology, Patient Comfort/methods, Professional-Patient Relations, Quality of Health Care, Communication, Ovarian cancer, Quality of life, Supportive care, Surgery, Symptom management

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