How do Lung Cancer Patients Experience Stigma?: A Meta-synthesis of Qualitative Studies

Jeong, Ji Yeon;Jeong, Gyeonghui;So, Hyang Sook

  • Received : 2016.01.10
  • Accepted : 2016.02.13
  • Published : 2016.02.29


Purpose: Lung cancer patients are often stigmatized since lung cancer is closely associated with smoking, which is a self-administered life style. The stigma of lung cancer has been examined in some qualitative studies; however, their findings were diverse and not yet synthesized. Therefore, this meta-synthesis study aimed to explore how lung cancer patients experience stigma. Methods: A meta-synthesis method, as suggested by Sandelowski and Barroso in 2007, was applied by aggregating the findings after an evaluation according to consolidated criteria for reporting qualitative research (COREQ). Results: By synthesizing the findings of the selected seven papers, a synthesized theme was emerged as "experiencing external and internal distances, which mandates authentic and consistent supports." The four sub-themes included 'experiencing some distance from the surrounded world,' 'experiencing self-made distance between the disease and oneself,' 'the disease experience causes social isolation and loneliness,' and 'there is lack of supportive care for myself.' Conclusion: Health care providers should be more attentive to supporting lung cancer patients by providing more effective advocacy programs that improve patients' quality of life.


Lung cancer;Stigma;Qualitative study;Meta-synthesis


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