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The Meaning and Impact of Head and Neck Cancer: An Interpretative Phenomenological and Repertory Grid Analysis

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This study explores the personal meaning of head and neck cancer for individuals, with particular reference to the impact on the self. It employs interpretative phenomenological and repertory grid analysis with 10 people, all of whom have undergone surgical treatment for head and ceck cancer. Four themes emerged: namely, destruction of self, altered relations with the body, disenfranchised self, and conservation of self. Repertory grid analysis validated and enriched understanding of these findings. Participants described how head and neck cancer inflicted a fundamental attack on their sense of self. Nonetheless, participants were dynamic in their self-management and detailed an active process to retain a positive sense of self.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Plymouth, United Kingdom

Publication date: January 1, 2009

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