A qualitative investigation of the experiences of women with breast cancer between surgery and adjuvant therapy

McAllister, Lauren (2015) A qualitative investigation of the experiences of women with breast cancer between surgery and adjuvant therapy. D Clin Psy thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Printed Thesis Information: https://eleanor.lib.gla.ac.uk/record=b3127492


Objectives: The aim of this paper was to explore the experiences of women with breast cancer in the period between surgery and adjuvant chemotherapy or radiotherapy. It also aimed to explore their perceptions of communicating with the professionals involved in their care, and their expectations of adjuvant treatment.

Design: Qualitative data were collected through in-depth semi-structured interviews.

Methods: Five women were interviewed following surgery and prior to starting adjuvant treatment. Two women were scheduled to receive chemotherapy and three to receive radiotherapy. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis.

Results: Four themes were identified: uncertainty about adjuvant treatment, adjustment to cancer, knowing enough, and relationships with healthcare professionals.

Conclusion: The period between surgery and adjuvant treatment was characterised by uncertainty. This may be adaptive at this point, as it allowed women to maintain hope in the face of potentially unpleasant treatments. Women also continued to adjust to their diagnosis. They wanted to know enough about treatment to prepare themselves, but did not want to be overwhelmed. Women emphasised their own agency in managing information. Healthcare professionals were viewed as a trustworthy source of information, and these relationships supported women's coping in this time period. This study underscores the importance of responding flexibly to women's information and communication needs during treatment.

Item Type: Thesis (D Clin Psy)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Colleges/Schools: College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Supervisor's Name: Wilson, Dr. Sarah
Date of Award: 2015
Depositing User: Miss Lauren J McAllister
Unique ID: glathesis:2015-6690
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2015 13:14
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2015 09:20
URI: https://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/6690

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