The occupational impact of bowel cancer: Survivors’ voices and advancing the role of occupational therapy assessment and intervention

Aust Occup Ther J. 2021 Oct 17. doi: 10.1111/1440-1630.12773. Online ahead of print.


INTRODUCTION: The aim of this study was to investigate the occupational impact (i.e., how engagement in occupation is affected) of having had bowel cancer and the role of occupational therapy with bowel cancer survivors and their significant others.

METHODS: Two rounds of semi-structured interviews were carried out with individuals who had completed treatment for bowel cancer, with interviews designed to gain insight into their occupational experiences post treatment. Thematic analysis was utilised to construct themes and patterns founded on the perceptions of participants. Analysis involved concurrent data collection and analysis, constant comparative analysis, and iterative analysis.

FINDINGS: Eighteen participants were interviewed, with occupational impact evident across multiple aspects of everyday life. Four themes were identified: Changes in eating habits, changes in toileting habits, changes in relationships, and rethinking occupational choices.

CONCLUSION: Findings of the occupational impact of having had bowel cancer reveal a possible role for occupational therapists with people affected by bowel cancer. Occupation focused assessments and self-management programmes are identified as a possible means of meeting the needs of this population, making use of the experiences of peers to provide a credible, relatable voice.

PMID:34658023 | DOI:10.1111/1440-1630.12773

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