PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES: To explore the processes through which patients construct their meanings of acute leukemia (AL).
RESEARCH APPROACH: An exploratory design was employed using serial, in-depth interviews, guided by Smith's Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis approach.
SETTING: Two inpatient hematology clinics in the United Kingdom.
PARTICIPANTS: 10 adult patients with AL.
METHODOLOGIC APPROACH: Two serial interviews were conducted with each participant, two to four weeks apart, within the first year of diagnosis or post-relapse.
FINDINGS: AL creates a state of imbalance, which may initiate a search for new equilibrium. Patients' journeys toward making sense of their illness may involve three interchangeable processes.
CONCLUSIONS: Findings of this contextually and methodologically novel study highlight the complex nature of sense-making for patients experiencing AL.
INTERPRETATION: Nurses can take valuable lessons on how to manage the invisibility of AL, enhance trust in healthcare professionals, address the impact of isolation, and facilitate the making-sense processes of patients in ways that favor their short- and long-term psychosocial adjustment.
- Acute Disease
- Adaptation, Psychological
- Aged, 80 and over
- Chronic Disease
- Middle Aged
- Qualitative Research
- United Kingdom
- Comparative Study
- Journal Article