Existential support needs following cancer treatment with curative intent

Anna Lagerdahl, Manus Moynihan, Brian Stollery

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Aims Research in recent years reveals that people can experience a range of existential difficulties following the end of cancer treatment. However, few studies have examined how to best support people with these needs. The aim of this study is to explore what support may be required to help people manage their existential concerns following the end of treatment. It is the second part of a study that examined the existential concerns of the same participants (Lagerdahl, Moynihan and Stollery 2014).

Method Eight participants recounted their post-treatment experiences through qualitative methods, and inductive thematic analysis was used to systematically organise those experiences.

Results Participants wished for greater continuity of care and information following the end of treatment, and requested mandatory and holistically focused follow-up appointments, as well as specialised psychological support.

Conclusion In accord with National Cancer Survivorship Initiative goals, there is a need to establish holistic support in hospitals with follow-up consultations that acknowledge existential experiences, to effectively aid patients in their transition to life beyond cancer.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-37
Number of pages5
JournalCancer Nursing Practice
Issue number4
Early online date10 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2017

Structured keywords

  • Brain and Behaviour
  • Clinical Neuropsychology


  • continuity of care
  • existential
  • holistic needs assessment
  • living with and beyond cancer
  • psychosocial needs
  • service needs
  • cancer


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