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Self-management strategies used by head and neck cancer survivors following completion of primary treatment: a directed content analysis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2194-3000
Number of pages7
Issue number12
Early online date26 May 2017
DateAccepted/In press - 26 Apr 2017
DateE-pub ahead of print - 26 May 2017
DatePublished (current) - Dec 2017



Head & Neck Cancer (HNC) survivors encounter unique challenges following treatment. This study aimed to identify self-management strategies that HNC survivors use to overcome these post-treatment challenges.


Twenty-seven individuals from four designated cancer centres in Ireland were interviewed about self-management strategies that helped them overcome challenges following HNC treatment. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and analysed using directed content analysis.


Twenty self-management strategy types (encompassing 77 specific strategies) were identified. The most frequently used self-management strategy types were Self-sustaining (used by 26 survivors), Self-motivating (n = 25) and Proactive problem solving (n = 25). The most frequently used specific strategies were adaptive approaches to ongoing physical consequences of HNC and its treatment (n = 24), customizing dietary practices (n = 24) and maintaining a positive outlook (n = 22).


The study identified strategies that helped HNC survivors to self-manage post-treatment challenges. This information could inform the design/development of self-management interventions tailored towards HNC survivors.

    Research areas

  • Head and neck cancer, Cancer survival, Self-management, Psychological intervention development, Qualitative

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    Rights statement: This is the author accepted manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Wiley at Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Accepted author manuscript, 465 KB, PDF document


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