Explaining Perceived Priorities in Women with Breast Cancer: A Qualitative Study

Document Type: Research Articles

Authors

1 Student Research Committee, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

2 Department of Midwifery and Reproductive Health, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

3 Department of General Surgery, Lymphedema Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

4 Breast Diseases Research Cancer, Department of Surgery, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

5 Health Policy Research Center, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

Abstract

Objective: Cancer is a stressful event in life, and the dreadful impact and problems created for patients and families
by cancer negatively affect their quality of life. Therefore, regarding the increasing number of cancer patients and the
nature of this disease, the need to recognize and understand the priorities and problems of patients after the diagnosis of
cancer is of high importance. This study was designed and implemented with the aim of identifying the perceived
priorities of women with breast cancer. Methods: This study is a qualitative research of content analysis type. To collect
data, purposeful sampling and deep semi-structured individual interviews were used. The subjects were women with
breast cancer who visited the Breast Disease Research Center of Shahid Motahari Clinic in Shiraz, and the data were
saturated after 15 interviews. The four criteria presented by Lincken and Guba were used to evaluate the validity and
reliability. To analyze the qualitative data, conventional qualitative data analysis and MAXQDA10 software were used.
Two themes were obtained in the assessment of interviews and analysis of data: 1) Supportive relief; 2) Therapeutic
support. Results: Some of the participants highlighted the role of social and family support in coping with the disease,
and considered social communication and continued support in the form of empathic relationship as a turning point
in their lives. The absence of a fertility specialist in the cancer treatment system was the main complaint of most
participants. The results showed that receiving support from family and the healthcare system is the most important
perceived priorities in breast cancer patients. Conclusion: The results of this study show the importance of social support
as a perceived priority in breast cancer patients to improve their quality of life. Development and reinforcement of the
supportive network seem to be essential to provide the best possible help to these patients.

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