Breast cancer is the most common malignancy affecting women worldwide. In Lebanon, a country of 4 million people, breast cancer is also the most prevalent type of cancer among Lebanese women.
The purpose of this study was to gain a more in-depth understanding of the coping strategies espoused by Lebanese women with breast cancer.
The study followed purposeful sampling and saturation principles in which 10 female participants diagnosed as having breast cancer were interviewed. Data were analyzed following a hermeneutical process as described by Diekelmann and Ironside (Encyclopedia of Nursing Research. 1998:50-68).
Seven main themes and 1 constitutive pattern emerged from the study describing the Lebanese women's coping strategies with breast cancer. The negative stigma of cancer in the Lebanese culture, the role of women in the Lebanese families, and the embedded role of religion in Lebanese society are bases of the differences in the coping strategies of Lebanese women with breast cancer as compared to women with breast cancer from other cultures.
These findings cannot be directly generalized, but they could act as a basis for further research on which to base a development of a framework for an approach to care that promotes coping processes in Lebanese women living with breast cancer.
Implications for Practice:
Nursing and medical staff need to have a better understanding of the individual coping strategies of each woman and its impact on the woman's well being; the creation of informal support group is indispensable in helping these women cope with their conditions.