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We as Spouses Have Experienced a Real Disaster!

A Qualitative Study of Women With Breast Cancer and Their Spouses

Çömez, Saadet MSc, RN; Karayurt, Özgül PhD, RN

doi: 10.1097/NCC.0000000000000306

Background: Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in Turkey. The emotional effects of this condition are experienced by the women and their families.

Objective: The aim of the study was to describe the experiences of women with breast cancer and their spouses from diagnosis to treatment completion.

Methods: This qualitative study with a descriptive qualitative design was conducted at participants’ homes. Fourteen women and their spouses were enrolled in the study (n = 28). Data were collected during in-depth interviews and analyzed with inductive content analysis.

Results: The women with breast cancer and their spouses’ experiences were categorized into 4 main themes: “facing breast cancer,” “treatment process,” “coping with disease and treatment,” and “life after treatment.” Subthemes were also identified and described.

Conclusions: The women with breast cancer and their spouses reported that they had positive and negative experiences in terms of their physical, psychological, and social status from diagnosis to completion of treatment, indicating that breast cancer is a disease of women and a condition of families.

Implications for Practice: Knowledge of these experiences can help nurses plan care that is designed to improve the quality of life of women and their husbands.

Author Affiliations: Department of Surgical Nursing, Faculty of Nursing, Dokuz Eylul University, Izmir, Turkey.

This study was funded by the Dokuz Eylul University Scientific Research Projects Support Fund, Izmir, Turkey (project 2012.KB.SAG.067).

Authors’ contributions: Conception and design of this study: Ö.K., S.Ç.; data collection: S.Ç.; statistical analysis and drafting of the manuscript: S.Ç., Ö.K.; critically review of the manuscript and supervision of the whole study process: Ö.K.; both authors read and approved the final manuscript.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Correspondence: Özgül Karayurt, PhD, RN, Department of Surgical Nursing, Dokuz Eylul University Faculty of Nursing, Inciralti/Izmir, 35350 Turkey (

Accepted for publication July 27, 2015.

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