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Patient experiences with isolated limb perfusion for malignant melanoma – A qualitative study

Journal article
Authors M. Ekenberg
H. Wesslau
Roger Olofsson Bagge
My Engström
Published in European Journal of Oncology Nursing
Volume 43
ISSN 1462-3889
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Surgery
Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Gastrosurgical Research and Education
Institute of Health and Care Sciences
Language en
Keywords Cancer, Content analysis, Experiences, Isolated limb perfusion, Malignant melanoma, Patients, Qualitative
Subject categories Nursing, Cancer and Oncology


Purpose: In recent years, the incidence of malignant melanoma has rapidly increased worldwide. Among patients with recurrences, approximately 5% develop in-transit metastases, which can potentially be treated with isolated limb perfusion (ILP). However, little is known about patient experiences with this treatment. A more thorough understanding might guide future research and clinical care. In this study, we aimed to describe patients’ experiences of ILP treatment. Methods: This study included eight patients who participated in a semi-structed interviewed, conducted at one occasion between 3 and 11 months after their ILP treatment. The mean interview duration was 26 min. Data were analyzed using qualitative inductive content analysis according to the methods of Elo-Kyngäs and Graneheim and Lundman. Results: Our analysis yielded three categories, each built on two subcategories: positive experiences after ILP treatment emerged from the sub-categories reduced tumor burden and living a less restricted life; negative experiences after ILP was built on the subcategories fear of relapse and complications and side effects; and experiences of healthcare was founded on the subcategories need for correct information and being viewed as sicker then experienced. Conclusion: Participants showed greater focus on the healthy parts of their lives, even when negative symptoms occurred after ILP treatment. They also described how healthcare workers focused on their illness. Based on these findings, we suggest the following means of providing good nursing care to ILP patients: give correct information, strive to reduce patients’ negative symptoms, support their daily living needs, and provide emotional support to reduce fear of recurrence. © 2019 Elsevier Ltd

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