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Jesper Larsen Mærsk

Identity and home when living with advanced cancer


Background Research has shown that home is where people with advanced cancer spend most of their time and where they are engaged in most of their daily activities. Daily activities are the things people do as a part of their everyday life such as getting dressed, personal hygiene, cleaning, cooking, eating, hobbies, being with family and friends, etc.

Palliative care in the home, home modifications, and assistive devices may become a part of the everyday life in the home of people with advanced cancer. These changes may affect how people with advanced cancer experience their home as a place to dwell and a place of personal importance to how they perceive themselves.

Furthermore, symptoms and side effects of treatment such as fatigue and pain may cause disruption to daily life and engagement in activities that are important and meaningful to how people with advanced cancer perceive themselves. 


Objective The purpose of this study is to explore how people living with advanced cancer, experience that their self-perception can be affected by their cancer and the treatment and support they receive in their home environment.

Methods Grounded theory method is used to guide the ongoing collection of data and analysis. The purpose of using grounded theory methods is to understand how the process of self-formation is affected by conditions and changes in the everyday lives of people with advanced cancer such as their cancer, treatment, support, and events taking place in the home environment. Empirical data is generated from diaries, in-depth interviews, email, and phone conversations with people with advanced cancer, their relatives, and health professionals.