The meaning of adolescents' eating experiences during bone marrow transplant recovery




Rodgers, Cheryl

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Bone marrow transplantation (BMT) has become a common treatment option for children with various malignant and nonmalignant diseases; however, these children often endure significant gastrointestinal (GI) side effects following BMT that lead to poor oral intake. Little research has been performed to identify the symptom and eating experiences, as well as how these experiences affect the quality of life among adolescents throughout the BMT recovery process. This interpretive phenomenological research study was guided by Martin Heidegger's philosophical underpinnings and allowed adolescents' eating experiences, eating strategies, and the impact of eating issues on the quality of their life to be told from their own perspective. Information was obtained from individual interviews with 13 adolescents aged 11-17 years using a purposeful sampling method. Data were analyzed using the hermeneutic method, and the rigor of the research study was supported by establishing credibility, dependability, and confirmability. Five themes were derived from the interviews. Adolescents discussed a slow return of eating, identified barriers that affected their eating, described personal eating strategies, expressed a sense that eating provided a return to normalization, and offered supportive advice to fellow BMT patients and caregivers. With an enhanced understanding and awareness of adolescents' eating experiences and barriers affecting eating after BMT treatment, nurses can perform more thorough assessments. Nurses can assist patients with their eating by providing an encouraging tone to motivate adolescents to attempt to eat, by educating patients on eating strategies, and by sharing supportive advice.



Health and environmental sciences, Adolescents, Bone marrow transplant, Eating