To provide a unified description of an adolescent's experience of living with and dying of cancer.
Qualitative analysis using phenomenological methods.
Izaak Walton Killam Health Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
A 15-year-old boy who was diagnosed as having osteosarcoma in 2003 and died of his disease 1 year later.
Analysis of his 90-page journal that spanned 3 months just before his death.
Main Outcome Measures
Identification and clustering of key themes to capture the essence of his experience.
Five main themes that surfaced during analysis of the journal were adolescent development, escape from illness, changing relationships, symptoms, and spirituality.
A single case study can provide valuable information in a field such as pediatric palliative care in which the patient's perspective may be difficult to access or ascertain.