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“Striving for normalcy” was the core process in the symptom experience related to the threat of rejection after a lung transplant

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Q In lung transplant recipients, what is the psychosocial process of the symptom experience associated with the threat of organ rejection?


Grounded theory.


University based pulmonary transplant centre.


14 lung transplant recipients who were 28–69 years of age (mean age 54 y, 50% men, 93% white). Mean time since transplantation was 2.3 years (range 27 d to 9 y). 6 participants had >3 rejection episodes, 7 had 1–2 episodes, and 1 had no episode.


Participants were recruited using purposive and theoretical sampling methods to ensure variability in age, sex, underlying lung disease, previous rejection, and time since transplantation. Audiotaped, face to face interviews lasting 45–60 minutes and using open ended questions were done. Data collection, analysis, comparison, verification, and theoretical explanation were done concurrently. Interview questions were modified to compare and verify emergent concepts. 2–4 weeks after the initial interview, participants were contacted by telephone to verify findings. A substantive theory on the symptom experience associated with …

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  • For correspondence: Dr A DeVito Dabbs, School of Nursing, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

  • Sources of funding: National Institute of Nursing Research; Pennsylvania Nurse Foundation; Pauline Thompson Research Award; Enid Goldberg Research Award; and Sigma Theta Tau, Eta Chapter.