Self care and end of life care in advanced cancer: literature review

Bridget Johnston, Maria McGill, Stuart Milligan, Dorothy McElroy, Clare Foster, Nora Kearney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Self care is a key feature of health care policy in the UK. It has been suggested that self care by patients with cancer improves quality of life, symptom management, and patient satisfaction. However, little is known about self care and end of life care.
This review sets out to find out what is known about how people experiencing end of life care manage their illness themselves, in the advanced stages of their disease.
A systematic review was conducted; searching key databases; extracting relevant literature, using RefMan, NVIVO; grading, analysing, and appraising the literature.
Eighteen articles were included in the review. Themes identified were; interventions for end of life care; self care behaviours used by patients; factors that prevent patients to self care.
The nurses’ role in supporting self care for people with advanced cancer is important. The review identifies various ways nurses can empower patients to self care related to oncology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)386-398
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Journal of Oncology Nursing
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Self Care
  • Self management
  • Cancer
  • End of life
  • Patient centred


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