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Fotini Vardaramatou, Alexia Tsesmeli , Sofia Koukouli, Michael Rovithis, Maria Moudatsou, Aret Stavropoulou

Thursday, April 1, 2021

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Pages: 193-207

DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.5651592


Introduction: Breast cancer diagnosis brings to women’s life massive change that lead to a plethora of emotions such as uncertainty, fear of disease progression and inability to adjust to the new situation. These appear to play a pivotal role in life and reintegration for women who are diagnosed with breast cancer. Aim: To explore the experience of women who were diagnosed with breast cancer. Methods: A qualitative research design was applied using a purposive sampling technique. Data collection was conducted through semi-structured face to face interviews. Content analysis was used to analyze qualitative data and establish main themes and subthemes. Ten women who were diagnosed with breast cancer participated in the study. Findings: Content analysis revealed three main themes namely, “uncertainty”, “coping strategies” and “adaptation mechanisms”. Women’s experiences were conceptualized into sub-themes within each main theme. Findings revealed a continuum from uncertainty to coping strategies and adaptation that women reflected through exploration of their experiences. Uncertainty was managed through various coping approaches that helped women to adjust. Coping strategies that involve conscious self-isolation, support and motivation may gradually lead to adaptation and positive outcomes such as empowerment, self-development, meaningful living and “rebirth” . Conclusion: Findings may enhance nurses’ knowledge regarding adaptation and coping strategies after breast cancer diagnosis. They further contribute to the implementation of efficient and quality interventions and help women with breast cancer to cope, adapt and remediate effectively.

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