• To recognise how older age and pre-existing multimorbidity may complicate the self-management of cancer
• To learn about research that showed how a reduction in physical function due to cancer affected older people’s ability to manage their health, other responsibilities and live their everyday lives
• To identify the role of healthcare professionals, including nurse specialists, in enhancing older people’s ability to self-manage cancer
Background Many older people who are living with cancer do so with concurrent complex health and social issues. Assessment and treatment planning for cancer often focus primarily on the disease, missing opportunities to identify and address these significant wider concerns.
Aim To gain an understanding of the factors that can increase or reduce older people’s capacity to manage the workload associated with the self-management of cancer and other conditions.
Method Secondary analysis of questionnaire data comprising 224 responses to 19 structured items covering health and daily living issues and analysis of free-text responses, focusing on factors affecting an individual’s capacity to manage their workload associated with living with cancer.
Results Reduced physical function affected many respondents’ capacity to manage their health and other responsibilities and to live their everyday lives. Many respondents were concerned about continuing to care for those dependent on them and identified factors that enhanced their capacity in their social network and from healthcare professionals. Organisational factors such as scheduled appointments, transport and availability of parking further affected respondents’ capacity.
Conclusion There is an implicit need to identify and address the main factors that can increase an individual’s capacity to manage their health and to support the delivery of person-centred cancer treatment and care plans.
Cancer Nursing Practice. doi: 10.7748/cnp.2022.e1813Peer review
This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated softwareCorrespondence
Lewis LA, Farrington N, Harari D et al (2022) Understanding factors that affect an older person’s capacity to manage the workload associated with living with cancer. Cancer Nursing Practice. doi: 10.7748/cnp.2022.e1813Acknowledgements
HP is supported by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Southampton Biomedical Research Centre. NF is funded by a NIHR Clinical Lectureship. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care
Published online: 19 July 2022
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