Citation Rennie C, Stoddart K & Hubbard G (2018) A new normal: reconciling change in appearance and function for men with head and neck cancer. Cancer Nursing Practice, 17 (5), Art. No.: e1449. https://doi.org/10.7748/cnp.2018.e1449
The aim of this study was to explore how men with head and neck cancer (HNC) experience appearance and functional change following diagnosis.
Grounded theory methodology was chosen and 12 retrospective semi-structured interviews were undertaken with men who were 12 to 24 months post-diagnosis.
Three interrelated categories emerged from the data, normalising change, ‘being under siege’; getting through treatment and reclaiming self. The core category was reconciling change: a new normal that reflects the social and psychological processes involved in accommodating and assimilating change in appearance and function for men with HNC.
The substantive theory provides insight into how men with HNC prioritise function and actively distance themselves from concerns about appearance. Further, it identifies that men may be at risk of social anxiety and isolation where there are multiple changes or body incompetence and these findings should inform clinical practice and care provision.
Keywords body image; cancer; head and neck cancer; patients; patient experience; quality of life
Journal Cancer Nursing Practice: Volume 17, Issue 5