Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Experiences from having breast cancer and being part of a support group. Notes written in diaries by women during radiotherapy

  • Sofia Emilsson (a1), Ann-Christine Svensk (a2), Karolina Olsson (a2), Jack Lindh (a3) and Inger Öster (a4)...
Abstract
AbstractObjective:

The purpose of this study was to examine the experiences of breast cancer patients participating in a support group.

Method:

This study explores 28 stories of women with breast cancer as expressed through written diaries. Diaries were written during a 5-week period in parallel with radiotherapy and participation in a support group in a hospital. Answers to six open-ended evaluative questions concerning the support group were included in the majority of the written diaries. A qualitative content analysis was used to identify themes.

Results:

Three themes were constructed during the analysis: “positive group development.” “Inhibited group development.” and “the individual living with the disease.” Hopes and fears for the future in regards to illness and getting better, the value of family and friends, and feelings related to daily life with breast cancer such as fatigue and changes in body image were also expressed in the diaries.

Significance of results:

The findings suggest that the women with breast cancer found it valuable to be able to share experiences with other women in a similar situation in the context of a support group. Being part of such a group provided a space and an opportunity for reflection.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Jack Lindh, Department of Radiation Sciences, Oncology, University of Umeå, S-90185 Umeå, Sweden. E-mail: jack.lindh@onkologi.umu.se
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

L. Beatty , M. Oxland , B. Koczwara , (2008). The psychosocial concerns and needs of women recently diagnosed with breast cancer: A qualitative study of patient, nurse and volunteer perspectives. Health Expectations, 11, 331342.

J. Coreil , J. Wilke & I. Pintado (2004). Cultural models of illness in breast cancer support groups. Qualitative Health Research, 14, 905923.

U.H. Graneheim & B. Lundman (2004). Qualitative content analysis in nursing research: concepts, procedures and measures to achieve trustworthiness. Nurse Education Today, 24, 105112.

R. Gray , M. Fitch , C. Davies , (1997). A qualitative study of breast cancer self–help groups. Psycho-Oncology, 6, 279289.

Å. Hörnsten , H. Sandström & B Lundman . (2004). Personal understandings of illness among people with type 2 diabetes. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 47, 174182.

J. Johnson & C. Lane (1993). Role of support groups in cancer care. Supportive Care in Cancer, 1, 5256.

M. Karlsson (2006). Self-Help Groups. Lund: Studentlitteratur. (in Swedish).

I. Öster , E. Magnusson , K. Egberg-Thyme , (2007). Art therapy for women with breast cancer: The therapeutic consequences of boundary strengthening. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 34, 277288.

J.W. Pennebaker & S.K. Beall (1986). Confronting a traumatic event: toward an understanding of inhibition and disease. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 95, 274281.

S. Power & J. Hegarty (2010). Facilitated peer support in breast cancer: A pre- and post-program evaluation of women's expectations and experiences of a facilitated peer support program. Cancer Nursing, 33, 916.

N. Samarel , J. Fawcett , K. Krippendorf , (1998). Women's perceptions of group support and adaption to breast cancer. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 28, 12591268.

S. Smith , C. Anderson-Hanley , A. Langrock , (2005). The effects of journaling for women with newly diagnosed breast cancer. Psycho-Oncology, 14, 10751082.

I. Stang & M.B. Mittelmark (2010). Intervention to enhance empowerment in breast cancer self-help groups. Nursing Inquiry, 17, 4757.

A.L. Stanton , S. Danoff-Burg , L.A. Sworowski , (2002). Randomized, controlled trial of written emotional expression and benefit finding in breast cancer patients. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 20, 41604168.

H. Stiegelis , A. Ranchor & R. Sanderman (2004). Psychological functioning in cancer patients treated with radiotherapy. Patient Education and Counseling, 52, 131141.

A. Zabalegui , S. Sanchez , P.D. Sanchez , (2005). Nursing and cancer support groups. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 51, 369381.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Palliative & Supportive Care
  • ISSN: 1478-9515
  • EISSN: 1478-9523
  • URL: /core/journals/palliative-and-supportive-care
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords: