A Valuable but Demanding Time Family Life During Advanced Cancer in an Elderly Family Member

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Abstract

This study explores experiences of elderly patients with cancer and their family members with regard to what is important and difficult in the family relationships during the palliative phase. Family group interviews were conducted with 26 families. The data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Three themes emerged: “Ensuring a positive final time together,” “Avoiding tension and conflict,” and “Concealing thoughts, feelings, and needs.” The main theme, “A valuable but demanding time,” indicates that although families find this phase of life challenging, they emphasize the importance of ensuring that this time is spent together in a positive way as a family.

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