Stressors and vulnerabilities of young single childless women with breast cancer: a qualitative study
AffiliationUniversity of Bedfordshire
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AbstractPurpose of the research Marital or partnership status is seldom investigated as a primary contributing factor to women's wellbeing after a diagnosis of breast cancer. It has been suggested, however, that single childless women with breast cancer may face unique stressors. This paper explores the stressors and vulnerabilities of young single childless women with a first episode of breast cancer. Methods and sample A qualitative descriptive method was used. As part of a larger study examining fertility concerns of young childless women with first episode of breast cancer, in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 single women. Recorded interviews were analysed using the framework approach. Key results Findings cover three main themes: partnership worries; fertility concerns; and views about emotional and practical support received. Partnership worries included concerns about having to undergo treatment without a partner to support them; the fear of rejection by potential partners; and feelings about the precious time lost in diagnosis and treatment. Fertility concerns included dilemmas about having children and feelings about the options of pursuing Assisted Reproductive Techniques. Views about the emotional and practical support received included the overall support received as well as perceptions about the attitudes of health professionals towards fertility issues. Conclusions Findings indicate that single childless women with breast cancer face additional vulnerabilities and may benefit from tailored support from health care professionals and interventions specifically targeted at them.
CitationCorney R, Puthussery S, Swinglehurst J. (2014) 'Stressors and vulnerabilities of young single childless women with breast cancer: a qualitative study'. European Journal of Oncology Nursing 18(1) pp17-22
SponsorsThis study was funded by the Breast Cancer Campaign (2010NovSP19).