A sense of understanding and belonging when life is at stake: Operable lung cancer patients' lived experiences of participation in exercise

Malene Missel*, Britt Borregaard, Mai Nanna Schoenau, Maja Schick Sommer

*Corresponding author

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


Objective: To explore the lived experiences and social benefits among patients with operable Non-small-cell lung cancer who participated in an exercise intervention. Methods: Eighteen patients enrolled in an exercise intervention at 2 weeks post-surgery participated in qualitative interviews at three time points. A phenomenological hermeneutical approach comprised the epistemological stance inspired by Ricoeur's philosophy. Analysis and interpretation provided descriptions that captured the meaning of the patients' lived experiences. Results: The exercise intervention was significant in terms of the patients' social capital, and the patients experienced themselves as part of a community. Patients gained access to resources that derived from human interaction in the exercise group, and their illness and treatment became easier to manage when shared with others in the same situation. The intervention helped to create a community for patients after lung cancer surgery, and the patients experienced a feeling of belonging and equality with the other participants. Conclusion: The group-based exercise intervention created opportunities for mutual understanding between patients, making illness and treatment easier to manage. The patients experienced support to reformulate their identity during the exercise intervention in their interaction with peers in the group.
TidsskriftEuropean Journal of Cancer Care
Udgave nummer5
StatusUdgivet - 1 sep. 2019
Udgivet eksterntJa

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
Funding information The study is funded by The Centre for Integrated Rehabilitation of Cancer Patients (CIRE)—a centre established and supported by The Novo Nordisk Foundation and The Danish Cancer Society. Furthermore, it is supported by Helsefonden and Novo Nordisk Foundation section of nursing research. We would like to thank all the patients for their valuable contribution to this study.


  • exercise
  • patient experiences
  • peers
  • qualitative study
  • social support
  • surgery

Citer dette