Digital Storytelling as a Psychosocial Tool for Adult Cancer Survivors

Catherine M. Laing

Nancy J. Moules

Shane Sinclair

Andrew Estefan

qualitative research, quality of life, coping, digital storytelling
ONF 2019, 46(2), 147-154. DOI: 10.1188/19.ONF.147-154

Purpose: To understand the meaning and impact for adult patients with cancer (past or present) of creating a digital story related to their cancer experience. 

Participants & Setting: 10 participants made digital stories with the help of a research assistant trained in digital storytelling. This research took place in a large, urban center in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Methodologic Approach: This research was done in the tradition of philosophical hermeneutics. Ten one-on-one interviews were conducted, and data were analyzed using an interpretive qualitative methodology. 

Findings: Findings revealed that digital stories were cathartic; reconnected individuals with family, friends, and parts of their lives that had been interrupted from cancer therapy; helped participants reflect in a way that was often described as therapeutic; and bridged communication with others about their cancer experiences. 

Implications for Nursing: Digital stories can be used to highlight the immense psychosocial impact of cancer and point healthcare professionals and other researchers toward creative and nontraditional ways to address this issue. 

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