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Stabilising of Life: A substantive theory

Author(s): Aino-Liisa Jussila, Ph.D.

Journal: Grounded Theory Review : an International Journal
ISSN 1556-1542

Volume: 7;
Issue: 1;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Keywords: families of cancer patients | grounded theory

The purpose of this grounded theory study was to explore how families live after one parent has been diagnosed with cancer and to develop a substantive theory to explain how families solve the main concern in their lives. The study design was prospective using 32 joint couple conversations with parents of 13 families (N=26) during different stages of the cancer trajectory as well as 26 hours of observations of five families, including ten parents and nine children (N=19), collected during a boarding course on psychosocial rehabilitation. The data consisted of 2377 incidents and a memo fund of 97 pages. The main concern of families was how to respond to the shock of a parent falling ill with cancer. The core category was stabilising of life through facing of hardships and assuming an attitude towards the future which patterned out as detaching, fighting, adjusting and submitting.
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