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EXPLORING WOMEN’S EXPERIENCES AFTER BREAST CANCER DIAGNOSIS. A QUALITATIVE STUDY

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Publication Year:

2021

Keywords Index:

Pages: 193-207

DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.5651592

Abstract:

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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