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The impact of ablative facial cancer surgery and the affect of post-operative facial prostheses

This thesis examines psychosocial issues experienced by participants following a diagnosis of facial malignancy and ablative cancer surgery of the face. It investigates how participants felt about surgery and the affect that the use of postoperative facial prostheses had on each participant. Semi-structured interviews were used to capture participants' experiences of treatment. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (Smith 2004; Smith, Flowers & Larkin 2009) was used to perform a content analysis of the data which revealed themes and sub-themes common to all participants. Ethical approval was granted for the inclusion of up to eight participants in the study. Initially twenty participants were randomly selected and contacted by letter. Thirteen individuals agreed to their inclusion in the study and eight were randomly selected for inclusion and contacted by letter. The five individuals not selected were contacted and thanked. Interviewing ceased after the sixth participant had been interviewed n=6 after no new themes relative to the study were discovered. Some findings of the research were congruent with previous research. A supportive partner and family group make coping easier. Professional attendants who listen and allow individuals to talk have a positive impact. Findings specific to this study suggest that facial prostheses are useful after ablative cancer surgery of the face. Prostheses restore outward normality which was important for reasons of social acceptability. However, the study found that feelings of normality were not restored This concluded with a re-definition of normality for disfigured patients who use a facial prosthesis to incorporate the wider context revealed by the study.
Date January 2010
CreatorsJohnson, Frank Phillip
PublisherUniversity of Sheffield
Source SetsEthos UK
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation

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