Process of Coping with Mastectomy: a Qualitative Study in Iran


Background: Breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer among Iranian women and mastectomy comprises81% of surgeries for treatment of breast cancer. Mastectomy may create feelings such as deformation orimpairment in patients, cause body-image disorder, and reduce sexuality and sexual activity which in turn mayentail mental disorders. The study aimed to elaborate coping processes. Materials and
Methods: A groundedtheory method was used in conducting this study. Twenty Iranian participants undergoing mastectomy wererecruited with purposive sampling. An open, semi-structured questionnaire were developed. Obtaining consent,conversations were recorded and immediately transcribed after each session. Data analysis was carried out withthe constant comparative method using the Strauss Corbin approach.
Results: Analyzing the collected data,the study came up with seven main categories which affected the coping process in patients with breast cancer,namely: reactions to mastectomy; loss and death contest; reconstruction of evaluation system; consent forundergoing mastectomy; reactions and troubles after loss; confrontation of loss and health; and reorganizationand compatibility with changes.
Conclusions: The results of the study indicated: when patients become informedof their breast cancer and the necessity of undergoing mastectomy as the treatment, they probably pass throughseven categories to adapt after mastectomy. Having insight about them is likely to contribute medical personnelin leading patients to the highest degree of feeling healthy.