AbstractsMedical & Health Science

Recovery following pneumonectomy: patients initial 2 year experience

by Jocelyn Margaret McLean

Institution: University of Sydney
Year: 2002
Keywords: pneumonectomy;lung cancer;thoracotamy;cancer;life after pneumonectomy;discomfort;lung
Record ID: 1032219
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/2123/563


Little is known about the recovery of patients after pneumonectomy and the impact of the surgery on the lifestyle of young, employed, ex-smokers and their families. This study was conducted to address this knowledge deficit, and gather information that would help health professionals to be able to assist people facing pneumonectomy. A qualitative study using van Manens methodological approach to interpretive phenomenology was chosen, in order to capture a full and rich understanding and meaning of the phenomenon that patients live. The names, age, operation, histological cell type, stage of disease, and disease free status of potential participants were obtained from a Lung Cancer Surgical Database after obtaining ethical approval for the study. Nine participants (three females and six males) met the inclusion criteria and gave informed consent for the study. Data collection comprised of open-ended interviews that were audiotaped, then transcribed verbatim into hard data. Data interpretation was based on the selective reading approach of van Manen from which six thematic statements arose. These are living the discomforts of treatment and recovery, discovering new limitations on myself; functional and emotional, my reliance on support, my financial security is threatened, my survival is at threat, and I wish I had known more. The study found that each participant had a unique experience of recovery and consequently the degree of recovery attained varied between participants. They all had a very strong desire to survive lung cancer and considered the risks of major surgery and loosing a lung to be insignificant compared to the certainty of loosing their life if they did not undergo surgery. This study provided a glimpse of what it was like for a group of patients to live the experience of life after a pneumonectomy and it provides a basis from which nurses can explore further the experiences of patients who are subjected to lung cancer surgery.