The technocratic and medicalized model of healthcare is rarely optimal for patients. By connecting two different studies we explore the possibilities of increasing quality of life in cancer care.
The first study captures survival strategies in a historically isolated Arctic village in Norway resulting in Momentary contentment theory, which emerged from analysing four years of participant observation and interview data. The second study conceptualizes everyday life of cancer patients based on in-depth interviews with 19 cancer patients; this was conceptualized as Navigating a new life situation. Both studies used classic grounded theory methodology. The connection between the studies is based on a health design approach.
We found a fit between cancer patients challenging life conditions and harsh everyday life in an Arctic village. Death, treatments and dependence have become natural parts of life where the importance of creating spaces-of-moments and a Sense of Safety is imminent to well-being. While the cancer patients are in a new life situation, the Arctic people show a natural ability to handle uncertainties.
By innovation theories connected to design thinking, Momentary contentment theory modified to fit cancer care would eventually be a way to improve cancer patients' quality of life.