image of Metacommunication process during a 3-day digital storytelling
workshop for patients recovering from hematopoietic cell
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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to qualitatively analyze metacommunication during the digital storytelling (DST) workshop process for patients undergoing hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT).

Methods: HCT survivors who had undergone transplant within the past 2 years were recruited at a cancer center in the Phoenix Metropolitan area. Participants ( age = 51.5 years) attended a 3-day DST workshop telling and creating digital stories around their HCT experiences. Using a constructivist grounded theory approach, line by line coding and content analysis were conducted with four research team members.

Results: Four themes emerged from the data: (1) communal connection; (2) expressing and processing emotions; (3) self-empowerment; and (4) multi-dimensional coping. Participants described telling and sharing their story with other HCT patients as therapeutic.

Conclusion: DST shows promise as a potential coping tool and offers multiple dimensions of the role of narrative as a coping technique, in community building, and in patient-centered contexts within HCT.


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