The art of living with cancer at an advanced age

Birgit van Ee


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    A lack of attention for older people with cancer results in insufficient knowledge about the care needs and preferences of this large and diverse age group. A systematic review of interventions for people with cancer showed that less than one percent of these studies focused on older persons. This puts them at risk of not receiving appropriate treatment and care. To counter this knowledge gap, this thesis examined the experiences of older people with cancer.
    My research showed that some older men and women with cancer are relatively unaffected by cancer and its treatment. However, older people with complicated health conditions or with limited support from family members and friends sometimes do not receive the care they need. This applies in particular to men without a partner or people with a sick or recently deceased partner. Men and women described many similar experiences. However, there were also some male-female differences, such as the importance of appearance for women and declining feelings of masculinity and sexuality in men.
    With respect to the experiences in the hospital, for both men and women, hospital reception showed a striking relationship with overall hospital satisfaction. A friendly, attentive receptionist who gives clear explanations partly determines the care experience.
    This thesis ends with recommendations for more human-centred care for older people with cancer. Good care starts at the reception and a human-centred attitude is crucial. This means an open, curious and respectful attitude with an eye for the unique characteristics of the older person.
    Originele taal-2English
    KwalificatieDoctor of Philosophy
    Toekennende instantie
    • Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
    • Slaets, Joris, Supervisor
    • Hagedoorn, Mariet, Supervisor
    • Smits, C.H.M., Co-supervisor, Externe Persoon
    Datum van toekenning10-nov.-2021
    Plaats van publicatie[Groningen]
    StatusPublished - 2021


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