We as Spouses Have Experienced a Real Disaster!: A Qualitative Study of Women With Breast Cancer and Their Spouses

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Abstract

Background:

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in Turkey. The emotional effects of this condition are experienced by the women and their families.

Objective:

The aim of the study was to describe the experiences of women with breast cancer and their spouses from diagnosis to treatment completion.

Methods:

This qualitative study with a descriptive qualitative design was conducted at participants’ homes. Fourteen women and their spouses were enrolled in the study (n = 28). Data were collected during in-depth interviews and analyzed with inductive content analysis.

Results:

The women with breast cancer and their spouses’ experiences were categorized into 4 main themes: “facing breast cancer,” “treatment process,” “coping with disease and treatment,” and “life after treatment.” Subthemes were also identified and described.

Conclusions:

The women with breast cancer and their spouses reported that they had positive and negative experiences in terms of their physical, psychological, and social status from diagnosis to completion of treatment, indicating that breast cancer is a disease of women and a condition of families.

Implications for Practice:

Knowledge of these experiences can help nurses plan care that is designed to improve the quality of life of women and their husbands.

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