Making meaning of everyday life in the context of lung cancer treatment: a qualitative study of outpatients’ perspectives

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The increasing survival after a lung cancer diagnosis implies that patients live longer with the disease, which means that symptoms and side effects of the treatment become part of everyday life.

The study explored how older adults make meaning of everyday life when undergoing treatment for their lung cancer.

Material and methods
A qualitative study using semi-structured interviews was conducted with 12 older adults with lung cancer undergoing various treatments. The analysis followed Giorgi’s phenomenologic five-step method.

The analysis revealed three partly overlapping themes: meeting the health care system, losing identity, and struggling for meaning in everyday life. The patients appreciate clear and coherent communication at the oncology clinic. They had different needs for support from organised support groups, friends, communities, or relatives to make meaning of everyday life.

Creating meaning in everyday life is essential despite the disease and the treatments’ side effects. Interpersonal relationships create meaningfulness in everyday life through a salutogenic perspective that makes everyday life comprehensible and manageable.

The patients need an everyday life perspective on the disease and the side effects, which a salutogenic approach in the encounter with the health care system could support.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)1541-1554
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • disease, health science and nursing

Cite this