Helena Leveälahti

Karolinska Institutet, Solna, Stockholm, Sweden

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Publications (7)10.17 Total impact

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    M Lövgren · B Wilde-Larsson · J Hök · H Leveälahti · C Tishelman
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    ABSTRACT: Little is known about relationships between quality of care (QoC) and use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) among patients with lung cancer (LC). This study examines CAM-use among patients with LC in Sweden, associations between QoC and CAM-use among these patients, and reported aspects of LC-care perceived as particularly positive and negative by patients, as well as suggestions for improving QoC. Survey data from 94 patient members of the Swedish LC patient organization about CAM-use and QoC as measured by the instrument "Quality from the patient's perspective" were analyzed. Fifty (53%) LC-patients used CAM, with 40 of the CAM-users reporting that CAM helped them. The most common CAMs used were dietary supplements and natural remedies, followed by prayer. Significantly more patients reported using prayer and meditation for cure than was the case for other types of CAM used. Less than half the CAM-users reported having spoken with staff from the biomedical health care system about their CAM-use. Patients provided numerous suggestions for improving LC-care in a variety of areas, aiming at a more effective and cohesive care trajectory. No differences in QoC were found between CAM-users and non-CAM-users, but differences in CAM-use i.e. type of CAM, reasons for using CAM, and CAM-provider consulted could be associated with different experiences of care. It is important to recognize that CAM-users are not a homogeneous group but might seek different types of CAMs and CAM-providers in different situations depending on experiences of care.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2010 · European journal of oncology nursing: the official journal of European Oncology Nursing Society
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    ABSTRACT: Nursing today faces numerous challenges. Societal changes lead to reorganization of health care, changing workloads with sicker patients in hospital and home care, and limited economic resources. The increasing and changing nature of knowledge needed for expert care provision challenges nurses to continually update their competencies. These are issues demanding proactive and dynamic changes in the way nurses conceive their mandates and practice. The aim of the action-research project presented here was to foster improved quality of care for patients with advanced cancer through collaborative endeavours integrating cancer nursing clinical practice, research and education in a knowledge exchange programme. The programme was based on input about caregiving needs from multi-professional staff caring for patients with advanced cancer in a variety of healthcare settings. Undergraduate baccalaureate nursing students were then engaged in literature studies to help address these needs. Results of the studies were communicated back to the involved clinicians in a variety of ways. In this paper, we discuss what we have experienced as opportunities and obstacles in conducting the project, based on our reflections and external evaluations. This is linked to a broader discussion of ways of integrating cancer nursing research, education and practice.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2008 · European Journal of Cancer Care
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    ABSTRACT: Cancer stage at diagnosis is the most important prognostic factor for lung cancer (LC), but most patients are diagnosed with advanced disease with many and intense symptoms. This study explores relationships between LC patients' first symptoms, symptoms triggering health care system (HCS) contact, demographic/clinical characteristics, and time spans in the care trajectory from first symptom(s) to treatment start. Medical records were examined from all 314 patients diagnosed with primary LC in 2003 at a Department of Respiratory Medicine, in Stockholm Sweden. Descriptive analysis was used to examine symptoms and time spans in the care trajectory. Cox regression analysis was conducted to explore the influence of symptoms and demographic/clinical characteristics on the time spans. Tumor-specific symptoms led to HCS visits to a greater extent than did systemic symptoms, despite reports of weight loss, fatigue and appetite loss as common first symptoms. Minor differences between women and men were found regarding specific symptoms. The study confirms that the time spans from first symptoms reported to treatment start are extensive, exceeding Swedish national recommendations. A lump/resistance, neurological symptoms, appetite loss, hemoptysis and non-thoracic related pain were associated with significantly shorter time spans in the care trajectory. People >74 years old risked longer time span from first HCS visit to treatment start. This study indicates a need for a more efficient LC care trajectory. Elderly patients could be particularly vulnerable for longer time spans.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2007 · Acta oncologica (Stockholm, Sweden)
  • Helena Leveälahti · Carol Tishelman · Joakim Ohlén
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    ABSTRACT: Most patients are diagnosed with advanced lung cancer despite the presence of many and intense symptoms at diagnosis. This qualitative study aims to explore how people with inoperable lung cancer frame and conceptualize the onset of their sickness, to obtain knowledge which might facilitate earlier health care contact for people with potential lung cancer. Patients with inoperable lung cancer were recruited through a larger longitudinal study of 400 patients recruited consecutively from two university hospitals. The narrative analysis presented here is based on 91 narrative segments derived from audio-taped and transcribed qualitative interviews with 37 patients who survived the first year post diagnosis, complemented with data from previous interviews with the same people. Findings indicate a wide array of bodily experiences leading to diagnosis, including symptoms seen as related to other disorders, systemic complaints not conceptualized as symptoms or indications of a serious problem, and more rarely, symptoms triggering immediate action. In addition to the 'biographical disruption' often associated with chronic illness, this analysis indicates an alternative or parallel process involving 'biographical continuity', allowing for integration of past and present aspects of patients' lives.
    No preview · Article · May 2007 · Psycho-Oncology
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    Joakim Öhlén · Helena Leveälahti · Carol Tishelman

    Full-text · Article · Jan 2005
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    ABSTRACT: The gap between nursing research and practice is readily acknowledged in literature, with a variety of strategies suggested for reducing this gap. It is necessary not only to address problems of research implementation in practice, but also to find strategies that strengthen the influence of practitioners on research agendas through more collaborative relationships in order to have an impact on care of patients. A multi-centre research project was therefore initiated by two universities and three health care facilities, aiming to improve quality of care for patients with advanced cancer through a knowledge-exchange programme between nurse researchers, practitioners and students. The aim of this article is to explore how clinical staff reason about care provision for patients with advanced cancer, through analysis of 20 focus group discussions conducted with staff in three different health care facilities in two Swedish cities. An initial analysis based on grounded theory was complemented with consideration of the interactive process in the focus group discussions, and carried out by a team consisting of senior nurse researchers, clinical experts and nursing instructors. The findings of the focus group discussions emphasize the complexity of caregiving for patients with advanced cancer. The tension between caregiving ideals and limits imposed by the realities of caregiving in today's health system were striking. Practitioners discussed the organization of care, different constellations of relationships between patients, family members and professionals, and theoretical and experiential knowledge as equally important aspects in dealing with all concrete situations in daily practice. The importance of reflective practice, use of self and ethical reasoning also permeated the focus group discussions. These findings highlight an integrated need both to influence organizational structures and working relationships, along with increasing knowledge, if sustainable change is to be effected.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2004 · Journal of Advanced Nursing

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