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The purpose of this grounded theory study was to explore the meaning and characteristics of the quality of relationships between Thai family caregivers and persons with head and neck cancer. Data was collected via in-depth interviews and the constant comparative method was used to analyse data to generate a theory of quality relationships among family caregivers of persons with head and neck cancer. Participants included 15 family caregivers; 13 spouses and two sons. The core category emerging from data anlaysis was quality relationships, which had four subcategories: feeling of love, sympathy, caring and connectedness. Love was defined as the caregiver’s desire to return the care-receiver’s love. Sympathy was defined as the caregiver’s feeling toward their care-receiver’s having cancer and suffering from the disease, and feeling sad for their care-receiver. Caring was defined as the caregiver’s feeling of concern and worry about their care-receiver. Connectedness was defined as the caregiver’s feeling of becoming closer to the care-receiver than before they started caregiving. The quality relationships between caregivers and persons with head and neck cancer is a dynamic process which occurred in three phases; the reason to be a caregiver, quality relationship, and provision of care. The Thai cultural context and religion influenced every phase of quality relationships. Nurses and other providers should integrate scientific, religious, and cultural knowledge into their clinical practice for promoting quality relationships in order to improve quality of care between family caregivers and persons with head and neck cancer.
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