A qualitative study of cancer survivors’ perception of emotional support
The aim of this article is to shed light on the different ways in which a group of Danish cancer survivors fulfil their need of emotional support. The study comprised participant observation at a Danish cancer rehabilitation centre, individual semi-structured interviews and focus group interviews with course participants. The analytical process combined the inductive approach of interpretative phenomenological analysis with a deductive theoretical strategy. Key concepts from Robert D. Stolorow's existential-phenomenological trauma theory were used as interpretative framework. Findings suggest that cancer survivors’ perception of emotional support is captured by the theoretical concept a “relational home,” understood here as a supportive and caring environment. A relational home may include different dimensions in various situations and contexts, including an existential and metaphysical dimension in which God/a higher power may provide emotional support similar to that obtained in human relationships.
Mental Health, Religion and Culture, 2012, Vol 16(6), Issue 6, p. 617-632