Pakistani Womens Perceptions and Experiences of the Psycholo | 46139

Primary Health Care: Open Access

ISSN - 2167-1079


Pakistani Womens Perceptions and Experiences of the Psychological Impact of Advanced Breast Cancer

Maggi Banning

Background: Breast cancer is a common health problem in Pakistan. Due to limited breast health awareness, women often seek medical support when the disease is in an advanced stage. Breast cancer can be a frightening disease for women due to local beliefs about cancer and knowledge deficits. Objectives:This study examined the psychological impact of a diagnosis of advanced breast cancer in Pakistani women. Setting/ Subjects; 21 women with a diagnosis of advanced breast cancer participated in interview. Design: A qualitative study employing semi-structured interviews to explore women’s perceptions and experiences of the psychological impact of their diagnosis on their lives. Women adopted religious coping strategies to manage the long-term manifestations of their disease and the seriousness of their diagnosis. Many women questioned their perceptions of the challenges that they faced; the meaning of life for them as mothers, wives and constant fear of recurrence and impact that this could have in their lives. Possessions and money were of little consequence to them as their existence and duration of life was perceived to be limited. Conclusions: Many women revitalised their perceptions of the purpose of life and developed increased optimism for the future. This optimism was related to their renewed spirituality which they used as a coping strategy.