A qualitative systematic review and meta-aggregation of the experiences of men diagnosed with chronic lymphoedema

Garry R Cooper-Stanton, Nicola Gale, Manbinder Sidhu, Kerry Allen

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Abstract

Background
Lymphoedema is a chronic condition that is estimated to affect up to four people per 1000 of the UK population with this increasing with age. Men account for up to 20% of lymphoedema service caseloads with research focussing upon women affected.
Aims
To retrieve primary qualitative research on the experiences of men with chronic lymphoedema.
Methods
A qualitative review was undertaken using the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) meta-aggregation method. A search strategy was applied to 12 databases, from inception to February 2021, with 22 studies identified and appraised. The findings were extracted and synthesised via the JBI approach.
Results
Four synthesised findings were identified: (1) The ‘New Norm’, how diagnosis led to men being faced with a ‘new version’ of themselves; (2) ‘Journey into the Unknown’ relates to the unforeseen diagnosis of the condition; (3) ‘Access’ – challenge in receiving a diagnosis, and support; and (4) ‘Personhood’ – the impact of the condition upon external constructs and relationships.
Conclusions
Men are faced with similar challenges as women coupled with societal expectations with respect to gender identity and expression. This leads to those wishing to engage with men to adopt ‘gender-based tailoring’ within healthcare services, information and support.
Original languageEnglish
Article number174498712210887
JournalJournal of Research in Nursing
Early online date20 Sept 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Sept 2022

Keywords

  • chronic
  • lymphoedema
  • men
  • narrative
  • oedema
  • qualitative

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Research and Theory

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