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The Experiences of the Younger Head and Neck Cancer Client Open Access


Other title
Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Human Papillomavirus
Oropharynx cancer
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Grattan, Kathryn S
Supervisor and department
Olson, Karin (Faculty of Nursing)
Examining committee member and department
O'Connell, Dan (Faculty of Medicine)
Caine, Vera (Faculty of Nursing)
Kubrak, Catherine
Faculty of Nursing

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Nursing
Degree level
Head and Neck Cancer (HNC) rates are rising in younger populations, largely related to the sexually transmitted infection, human papillomavirus (HPV). Clinically I observed that this subset of clients had unique physical, psychosocial, and sexual concerns not currently being addressed by healthcare providers. I conducted this study using a simultaneous mixed-method design to better understand the experiences of these clients. Unstructured interviews were conducted with ten participants between the ages of 18-65. Three important themes emerged as common for this group: employment/financial considerations, a change in social patterns, and intimacy/sexuality. To augment the qualitative data, participants completed the University of Washington Quality of Life tool designed for HNC clients. A comparison was made between the interview data and the tool to identify both consistencies and gaps. The data is viewed through King’s (1981) conceptual framework for nursing. This is followed by recommendations for clinical practice, education, research and policy.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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