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Drama as a New Rehabilitation Possibility for Women Afflicted With Breast Cancer

Mattsson-Lidsle, Barbro McS, RN; Snickars-von Wright, Hum(c), Birgitta PhD, RN; Lindholm, Lisbet PhD, RN; Fagerström, Lisbeth PhD, RN

doi: 10.1097/01.NCC.0000300160.67897.4a

The aim of this qualitative longitudinal study was to evaluate drama as a method within the rehabilitation of women afflicted with breast cancer. By purposeful sampling, 11 of a total of 20 women participated in the study and were interviewed 3 times over 9 months. The interviews were transcribed. The data analysis was an inductive latent content analysis. The results show that the women felt that their lives were out of balance before the drama exercises; the female and physical dimension was emphasized. During the drama exercises, it became apparent that breast cancer was a unifying factor; the women were able to share difficult experiences with each other. After the drama group, it appeared that the women's joy of living had returned, as well as better self-confidence, inner peace, and feelings of good health. During group meetings, the women experienced drama, support, and solidarity within a closed group. Important events in their lives were revealed, and the women were given an opportunity to confront their hidden thoughts and feelings and to express them. All the women felt support and solidarity within the group as well as a personal development. Drama can be seen as a suitable rehabilitation method for women with breast cancer.

Authors' Affiliations: Sector of Health Care and Social Welfare, Swedish Polytechnic, Vasa (Ms Mattsson-Lidsle and Dr Fagerström); Sector of Culture, Swedish Polytechnic, Vasa (Ms Snickars-von Wright); and Department of Caring Science, Åbo Akademi University, Vasa (Assoc Prof Lindholm), Finland.

Corresponding author: Barbro Mattsson-Lidsle, McS, RN, Sector of Health Care and Social Welfare, Swedish Polytechnic, Seriegatan 2, 65320 Vasa, Finland (

Accepted for publication April 4, 2007.

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.