Changed Body Image as Perceived by Jordanian Women Undergoing Breast Cancer Treatment

Document Type: Research Articles

Author

Faculty of Nursing, Zarqa University, Jordan.

Abstract

Background: Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting women worldwide. The purpose of this study was
to generate an understanding of women’s perceptions of changes to their body image due to breast cancer treatment.
Method: A phenomenological qualitative approach was taken and semi-structured interviews conducted with 20
women who underwent breast cancer treatment at a public hospital in Jordan. Results: Data were analyzed following
Colaizzi’s methodology, yielding a core theme (“Broken things cannot be repaired”) and four subthemes: changes
in physical wellbeing (“my body fall apart”), changes in emotional wellbeing (“broken heart”), changes in social
wellbeing (“broken future”), and coping strategies (“repairing what has been broken”). Religion and family support
were major factors helping the women cope with their condition. Conclusion: Nurses and other healthcare providers
need to be aware of body image changes of women with breast cancer to initiate timely, and culturally sensitive nursing
intervention and support. Therefore, nurses should support patients in finding their own sources of strength to facilitate
their healing process.

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