Struggling with food and eating - life after major upper gastrointestinal surgery

Carey, Sharon, Laws, Rachel, Ferrie, Suzie, Young, Jane and Allman-Farinelli, Margaret 2013, Struggling with food and eating - life after major upper gastrointestinal surgery, Supportive care in cancer, vol. 21, no. 10, pp. 2749-2757, doi: 10.1007/s00520-013-1858-8.

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Title Struggling with food and eating - life after major upper gastrointestinal surgery
Author(s) Carey, Sharon
Laws, RachelORCID iD for Laws, Rachel
Ferrie, Suzie
Young, Jane
Allman-Farinelli, Margaret
Journal name Supportive care in cancer
Volume number 21
Issue number 10
Start page 2749
End page 2757
Total pages 9
Publisher Springer
Place of publication Berlin, Germany
Publication date 2013-10
ISSN 0941-4355
Keyword(s) Gastrointestinal surgical procedures
Coping behavior
Qualitative research
Summary Purpose

Few qualitative studies have explored patients' experience of food and eating following major upper gastrointestinal cancer surgery. The aim of this article was to explore the longer-term impact of different types of major upper gastrointestinal surgeries on people's relationship with food.


Twenty-six people having had major upper gastrointestinal cancer surgery greater than 6 months ago participated in semi-structured interviews. These interviews aimed to explore a person's physical, emotional and social relationship with food and eating following surgery. Interviews were tape-recorded, transcribed and analysed using an inductive thematic analysis approach.


Interview findings revealed a journey of adjustment, grieving and resignation. The physical symptoms and experiences of people differed between types of surgery, but the coping mechanisms remained the same.


The grieving and resignation people experienced suggest adjustment and coping similar to that of someone with a chronic illness. Remodeling of health services is needed to ensure this patient group receives ongoing management and support.
Language eng
DOI 10.1007/s00520-013-1858-8
Field of Research 110699 Human Movement and Sports Science not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 920411 Nutrition
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2013, Springer
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