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  • Nicola Edwards Clinical Psychology Thesis 2015

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    Embargo ends: 25/09/20

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Experiences of support following a diagnosis of breast cancer

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Unpublished
  • Nicola Edwards
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Publication date2015
Number of pages198
QualificationPhD
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Advisors
Publisher
  • Lancaster University
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The literature review aimed to provide a greater understanding of male partners’ experiences of their female partner’s breast cancer. A comprehensive search for relevant qualitative studies was conducted which identified fourteen studies. The findings were synthesised using a meta-ethnography approach. Male partners were found to mirror the emotional reactions and responses of their partner’s and also found to manage difficult feelings by gathering information in order to re-establish balance within the family system. Providing male partners with information in accordance with their individual needs may help male partners meet the expectations of their role, reduce uncertainty and enable them to approach the diagnosis from a more informed position.
The research paper aimed to explore the experience of friendships following a diagnosis of breast cancer. Using a qualitative design, ten women who had received a diagnosis of primary breast cancer were interviewed. Data were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Three super-ordinate themes were selected and discussed. The first theme explored ways in which breast cancer tested women’s expectations of their friendships, causing them to re-evaluate their quality and value; the second theme related to the importance of the proximity of their friends during the treatment phase of their illness; and the third described how time with friends post active treatment was re-evaluated based on the time and effort they had received from friends during their illness. Receiving a diagnosis of breast cancer therefore provided individuals with an opportunity to learn about the value and quality of their friendships.
The critical appraisal reflects upon issues that arose while completing the research for this doctoral thesis. Obstacles and dilemmas faced during the different stages of the research process were discussed, the limitations of the research were explored and the potential implications for future research in this area were also considered.