Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the meaning of “positive attitude” for medical surgicalnurses in caring for cancer patients.
Methods: A qualitative method was used in this qualitative descriptivestudy with data from nurses who had volunteered to participate in an in-depth interview that was conductedbetween January and February 2012. A total of 10 nurses in general medical and surgical wards of a districthospital were interviewed.
Results: The study used three broad themes to describe this multifaceted construct:showing empathy, seeing positively and behaving positively. The nurses were aware of their attitudes towardsbeing positive with cancer patients and its significance in support for cancer patients.
Conclusions: The findingsof this study can serve as a platform upon which educational and other support programmes can be developed inorder to meet the needs of those general nurses working with cancer patients. Future studies are recommendedto examine nurses’ beliefs about cancer that are thought to affect positive attitudes toward cancer patients.