An oasis in the hospital: the perceived benefits of a cancer support center in a hospital setting offering complementary therapiesJournal of Holistic Nursing (2014)
The aim of this study was to explore and describe the experiences of persons attending a cancer
support center, providing emotional support to cancer patients through self-selected complementary
therapies offered free of charge through qualified volunteer therapists. A grounded theory methodology
was used. Sources of data were 16 semistructured interviews with persons attending the center.
Interviews were digitally recorded and transcribed verbatim. Analysis was conducted using the constant
comparative method. Findings: The overarching theme that emerged in this study was the benefits
attributed to attendance at the cancer support center. The center was described as an “oasis” in the
hospital, and three aspects relating to this were identified: (a) facilitating comfort, (b) increasing personal
control, and (c) helping make sense of the cancer experience. Conclusion: A drop-in center
offering complementary therapies appeared to enable coping with the diagnosis and treatment of cancer
by facilitating comfort and increasing perceptions of personal control. The center also helped some
participants to make sense of their experience with cancer. This research has provided a unique insight
into the ongoing emotional needs of cancer patients, and directions for further development and
research into the provision of holistic care for patients within a hospital setting.
Citation InformationWilliams, A., Bulsara, C.E., Joske, D., Petterson, A., Nowak, A., and Bennett, K. (2014). An oasis in the hospital: the perceived benefits of a cancer support center in a hospital setting offering complementary therapies. Journal of Holistic Nursing, 32(4), 250-260. DOI: 10.1177/0898010114526951