From Love and Fidelity to Infidelity- Individual Experiences of Women with Breast Cancer Regarding Relationships with Their Spouses

Document Type : Research Articles


Department of Nursing, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Zabol University of Medical Sciences, Zabol, Iran.


Background and Objective: Breast cancer and its treatment processes not only involve the patients but also their spouses and can impact on mutual relationships. Spouses of women with breast cancer may experience devastating consequences of the disease in their marital and sexual relationships. Therefore, in the present study we aimed to investigate individual experiences of women with breast cancer in their relationships with their spouses. Materials and Methods: This was a qualitative study with a conventional approach to content analysis. A purposive sampling method was used to select 12 patients with breast cancer visiting the Chemotherapy Clinic in Zabol in 2016. Semi-structured interviews were employed for data collection. Data trustworthiness was checked and data were analyzed based on the steps proposed by Graneheim and Lundman. Ethical issues were considered. Results: Three main categories and ten sub-categories were extracted. The three main categories were surrounded by misery, from emotional to practical companionship and influencebeing imposed upon someone else. Conclusion: The findings showed paradoxical experiences of the women under study ranging from love and fidelity to infidelity. This indicates that some spouses do not adequately support for their sick wives. Therefore, health professionals should provide support, guidance and training for couples, including sex therapy and counseling services, so that spouses can better support their wives.


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