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Expectations and experiences of recovery in the context of leukaemia

Earthy, SM, Thomas, H and Sleney, J (2014) Expectations and experiences of recovery in the context of leukaemia In: BSA Medical Sociology Group Annual Conference, 2014-09-10 - 2014-09-12, Aston University, Birmingham.

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It is well recognised that the completion of an acute phase of cancer treatment may signal only a partial exiting from the sick role. The concepts of remission - whether complete (the presence of disease is no longer detectable although recurrence is possible) or partial (the disease is stable or in abeyance but signs of disease remain) - and of survivorship (living with and beyond cancer) reflect this complexity. The notion of recovery has received less attention in the sociological literature on cancer; exceptions include Winterling et al 2009. Leukaemia, including as it does both acute and chronic forms, offers an opportunity to explore recovery within diverse states of remission. The analysis presented here draws on an ESRC funded study of recovery (ES/K006037/1) involving secondary analysis of qualitative interview data from four datasets. The current paper focuses on the experiences of adults diagnosed with leukaemia (n=39) interviewed about their experiences by the Health Experiences Research Group, University of Oxford. The paper argues for the usefulness of exploring recovery in terms of the lived and located experiences of leukaemia patients on exiting - completely or partially - from the sick role and associated status. Analysis identified that recovery is multi-dimensional involving both ‘recovery from’ (…the disease, treatment, being seriously ill) and ‘recovery of’ (…previous routines, responsibilities and pleasures). Patients’ expectations and experiences of recovery were located in relation to particular dimensions of identity and played out in diverse arena that included employment, physical activity, relationships and roles, (in)dependence and responsibility.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Divisions : Surrey research (other units)
Authors :
Thomas, H
Date : 11 September 2014
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 16 May 2017 15:31
Last Modified : 23 Jan 2020 14:59

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