Transition experience of patients with cancer undergoing surgical insertion of an implantable venous access device: An exploratory study

By Eliane Dalex, Dominique Munteanu Nicou, Florence Roch Barrena, Catherine Salvi, Marie-José Roulin

Introduction: Patients experience a transition between health and a serious disease when they receive a diagnosis of cancer or of its recurrence.
Context: The implantation of a venous access device often takes places shortly after the diagnosis and is an additional stress factor.
Aim: Explore the unmet needs and expectations of patients after a venous access device has been implanted in order to offer specialized nursing care.
Method: An exploratory descriptive qualitative approach with deductive content analysis was used. Afaf Meleis’ transitions theory was the framework that guided the analysis. Data was collected from interviews with twelve patients.
Results: The results showed the vulnerability of patients during venous access device implantation. Personal, interpersonal, and organizational dimensions were found to hinder or facilitate the transition, influencing the quality of patients’ experience. Several coping strategies were used by patients to diminish their emotional distress.
Discussion: Support for self-care strategies, advance preparation, and adequate pain management help to reduce anxiety and insecurity.
Conclusion: Nurses must offer transition care in order to facilitate a positive experience of venous access device implantation.

  • implantable access device
  • cancer
  • transitional care
  • patient experience
  • self-care
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