Indian Journal of Palliative Care
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 ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 131--138

Getting out or remaining in the cage of inauthentic self: The meaning of existential challenges in patients' with cancer


Nursing Research Center, Razi Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Masoud Rayyani
Nursing Research Center, Razi School of Nursing and Midwifery, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman
Iran
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/IJPC.IJPC_179_17

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Context: Cancer as a life-threatening disease develops a range of existential challenges in persons. These challenges cause the patients to encounter some existential questions and tensions. This study method focuses on a person's experience about them. Aims: The aim of this study is to illuminate the meaning of existential challenges in patients with cancer in Iran. Subjects and Methods: A hermeneutic phenomenological approach, influenced by the philosophy of Ricoeur, was used to analyze the experiences of 10 Iranian patients with cancer. Data analysis was based on three stages of simple and fast understanding, structural analysis, and comprehensive understanding. Results: The present study showed that existential challenges in patients with cancer can be considered as getting out or remaining in the cage of inauthentic self. This theme consists of two subthemes “Being exposed to the light of awareness that revealed the cage of inauthentic self” and “The tension between getting out of the cage or remaining.” First, being exposed to the light of awareness revealed the cage of inauthentic self which subjectively refers to the emergence of existential questions, the past, the fear of future, and the collapse of physical body identity. Second, the tension between getting out of the cage or still staying which is characterized by anger, denial, sense of loneliness, and depression. Conclusions: According to the results of this qualitative study, it is possible to form discussion groups with peers or have self-reflective practice teaching groups to reflect patients' questions and existential challenges. In this way, participants can express themselves, share their experiences, challenges, learn, and find the answers.






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