Evid Based Nurs 14:105-106 doi:10.1136/ebn.2011.100138
  • Adult nursing
  • Phenomenology

Interview of 15 Norwegian patients informed that there is no curative treatment for their cancer finds oscillation between feelings of suffering and striving for health

  1. Solveig Hauge1,2
  1. 1Institute of Health Sciences, Telemark University College, Porsgrunn, Norway
  2. 2Department of Nursing Sciences, Institute of Health and Society, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
  1. Correspondence to Solveig Hauge
    Faculty of Health and Social Science, Institute of Health Sciences, Telemark University College, Postboks 203, Porsgrunn N-3901, Norway; solveig.hauge{at}

Commentary on:


The context for Saeteren et al's study is the lived experience of incurable cancer. They base their study on the assumption that knowing one is heading towards certain death invokes suffering but may also reveal inner health resources. The main focus of the authors' interest is on the dialectic between suffering and health. Accordingly, they note that their aim in this study is to promote a deeper understanding of how patients experience health and suffering.

Methods, results and conclusions

Fifteen patients aged 47–76 years with incurable cancer were included in the study. Qualitative interviews, in the form of a conversation between the researcher and the patient, were conducted. The interviews were conducted in a hospital ward and lasted between 1 and 1.5 h. The interviews were audiotaped and transcribed. …

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