Three types of emotional engagement: Caring for the older person with cancer in two ward settings

Antonia Lannie (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of the study was to explore experiences of older people with cancer in the palliative care stages ascertaining the attributes of a person-centred approach in sustaining the management of emotions. This was a qualitative study comparing patients and professional experiences and perceptions of care across to ward settings.

Methods: Methods involved 10 semi-structured interviews conducted with patients and focus groups (n = 6) and 10 semi-structured interviews with health professionals. Three dissemination focus groups (n = 14) were also carried out with professionals to allow further analysis of the data.

Results: Findings highlight the way emotion work is conveyed and the emphasis' accorded to issues such as societal perceptions, knowledge, expectations of care, life stage, relationships, identity, and emotions when caring for people in the palliative stages. Professionals engaged with patients' emotions in three ways: superficial engagement, reflective engagement, and authentic engagement. Findings, also reinforce the importance of maintaining emotions through emotion work.

Conclusion: This study highlights how emotion work is facilitated through the interaction between patients and professionals and that the relational interactive stance. This current study establishes that emotion work seemed to be temporal, contextual and dynamic in nature, involving an ongoing process at the palliative care stages. Helping older people with cancer to understand their illness considering the situation of lives and experiences is essential to address their emotional needs at this stage of the cancer journey.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102012
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Oncology Nursing
Early online date13 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


  • Older person
  • Cancer


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