Applying the common sense model of health and illness self-regulation to perceptions of persistent cancer-related fatigue after treatment: a focus group study

Teresa Corbett, Jane Walsh, AnnMarie Groarke, Brian McGuire

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    BACKGROUND/PURPOSE: Physical and psychosocial challenges associated with cancer can often extend into long-term survivorship. Cancer-related fatigue (CRF) is a frequently reported and highly distressing symptom. CRF after cancer can have significant implications for quality of life. Evidence also suggests that CRF in some individuals may be linked to maladaptive cognitions. The Common-Sense Model of Health and Illness Selfregulation (CSM) is a theoretical framework that addresses perceptions and coping in chronic illness. This research analysed perceptions of CRF in cancer survivors using the CSM. METHODS: Focus groups were conducted to study the experience of 18 post-treatment survivors of various types of cancer. RESULTS: Participants addressed their symptoms with reference to both information and emotion processing. Findings from the groups fell within the following themes: interpretation; cognitive representation of health threat; emotional representation of health threat; coping and appraisal. Another theme related to how participants interacted with healthcare professionals about their cancer-related fatigue. CONCLUSIONS: This qualitative study indicated that the CSM was a useful model to frame and address the experience of CRF. The research assessed the perceptions of CRF, building on previous research that has often neglected long-term survivorship. Research Implications: This was the first focus group study using thematic analysis to address the utility of the Common sense model for CRF when treatment has ended, indicating that Health Psychology theory may be relevant in addressing needs of individuals with CRF. Practice Implications: This work is part of a larger study on the development of a theory-based online intervention to address the needs of those with posttreatment CRF.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)248-249
    Number of pages2
    JournalPsycho-Oncology
    Volume24
    Issue numberSuppl 2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2015

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