The face of suffering among women with breast cancer - Being in a field of forces

Document type: Journal Articles
Article type: Original article
Peer reviewed: Yes
Author(s): Maria Arman, Arne Rehnsfeldt, L Lindholm, Elisabeth Hamrin
Title: The face of suffering among women with breast cancer - Being in a field of forces
Year: 2002
Volume: 25
Issue: 2
Pagination: 96-103
ISSN: 0162-220X
Publisher: Lippincott Williams & Williams
Organization: Blekinge Institute of Technology
Department: School of Health Science (Sektionen för hälsa)
School of Health Science S-371 79 Karlskrona
+46 455 38 50 00
Language: English
Abstract: Through qualitative interviews, the suffering experiences of women with breast cancer and their significant others were disclosed. Seventeen women with different stages of breast cancer and 16 significant others from 4 different care cultures in Sweden and Finland participated. Five of the women had advanced metastatic breast cancer, and 12 had a localized disease. Mean age was 48 years. As a methodology, a team approach, inspired by the Vancouver School of Doing Phenomenology, was used. The findings elucidate how the suffering experience touched the women's inner existence and values. This can metaphorically be described as a "field of force" and affected everything in the women's lives, including their views of themselves and their relationships. Existential questions were raised about life and death and the meaning of life. In their suffering, the women's dependency upon significant others, as well as healthcare personnel, was prominent. Suffering related to healthcare was a strong theme. Different faces of suffering related to breast cancer may still be unknown by healthcare professionals working in cancer care.
Subject: Nursing & Caring Sciences\General
Keywords: suffering, caring, breast cancer, phenomenology