Cancer Nursing

Skip Navigation LinksHome > July/August 2011 - Volume 34 - Issue 4 > Patients' Experiences of Appearance Changes Following Alloge...
Cancer Nursing:
doi: 10.1097/NCC.0b013e3181f8f884

Patients' Experiences of Appearance Changes Following Allogeneic Bone Marrow Transplantation

Russell, Charlotte MSc, BSc(Hons); Harcourt, Diana PhD, MSc, BSc(Hons); Henderson, Lucy RN; Marks, David Ian MBBS, PhD, FRACP, FRCPath

Collapse Box


Background: No previous research has explored the impact of the many appearance changes that can occur in patients following bone marrow transplantation (BMT).

Objective: This research aimed to explore in depth patients' experiences of appearance changes following allogeneic BMT to address the lack of knowledge in this area.

Methods: Semistructured interviews were conducted with 6 men and women who had received an allogeneic BMT within the previous 6 months to 2 years. Interviews were analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis.

Results: The findings illustrated that appearance changes had an impact on participants' confidence. It was also found that participants appeared to prioritize and view their appearance changes in the context of having a life-threatening treatment and experiencing many adverse effects. Appearance changes were a low priority until the immediate dangers of treatment had subsided and participants were returning to their former roles. In addition, it was also found that the isolation that participants experienced while recovering from transplant seemed to lessen the effects of appearance changes by limiting their exposure to the reactions and perceptions of others.

Conclusions: The effects of appearance changes on confidence may become problematic if individuals are still experiencing an altered appearance when returning to former roles.

Implications for Practice: This study highlights the need to identify and support those with long-term appearance changes.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.


Article Tools


Article Level Metrics

Search for Similar Articles
You may search for similar articles that contain these same keywords or you may modify the keyword list to augment your search.