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The existential impact of starting corticosteroid treatment as symptom control in advanced metastatic cancer
Palliative Care Services, Stockholms Sjukhem Foundation and Department of Oncology and Pathology, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm.
Palliative Care Services, Stockholms Sjukhem Foundation and Department of Oncology and Pathology, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm.
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Division of Health, Activity and Care. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Östergötlands Läns Landsting, Local Health Care Services in East Östergötland, Center of Palliative Care.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9606-3238
Palliative Care Services, Stockholms Sjukhem Foundation, Stockholm, and Department of Oncology and Pathology, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm .
2009 (English)In: Palliative Medicine: A Multiprofessional Journal, ISSN 0269-2163, E-ISSN 1477-030X, Vol. 23, no 2, 165-170 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Treatment with corticosteroids often results in increased appetite, reduced nausea and improved well-being in patients with advanced metastatic cancer. Therefore, we have studied the existential impact of starting corticosteroid treatment as symptom control in this patient group using qualitative content analysis with both a descriptive and an interpretative focus. Ten patients were interviewed before and after 1 week of treatment with 4 mg betamethasone. Prior to treatment, patients reported distressing symptoms, deterioration and diminished autonomy, symbolising threat and death. Corticosteroid treatment produced symptom relief in the majority of the patients. They reported enhanced physical abilities and experienced feelings of a more normalized life and strengthened autonomy, symbolising health and hope. This transfer from threat to hope has important existential consequences in end-of-life care and should be addressed when communicating goals of treatment and care with the patient and family.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 23, no 2, 165-170 p.
Keyword [en]
cancer, corticosteroids, existential, palliative care, qualitative
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-17498DOI: 10.1177/0269216308101486OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-17498DiVA: diva2:209876
Available from: 2009-03-27 Created: 2009-03-27 Last updated: 2017-12-13

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Friedrichsen, Maria

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