A Qualitative Study on Breast Cancer Survivors' Experiences

유방암 생존자의 질병 극복 경험

  • Yun, Mira (College of Nursing, Seoul National University) ;
  • Song, Misoon (College of Nursing, Seoul National University)
  • Received : 2013.03.04
  • Accepted : 2013.04.11
  • Published : 2013.04.30


Purpose: This study was performed to understand the characteristics and the meaning of the illness experience of breast cancer survivors as basic data for the development of an intervention program. Methods: The participants were 25 breast cancer survivors who had completed treatment at a tertiary hospital in Seoul. Data were collected through in-depth and unstructured audio-recorded interviews by the investigator. The participants were asked to describe their illness experience. The data were analyzed according to Giorgi's method for phenomenological analysis. Results: The interview data were organized by theme into 6 categories that emerged from the analysis. The themes were acceptance of the illness, active coping with reality, gaining strength through the support of surrounding people, struggling to overcome a negative mindset, self-reflection, and the pursuit of a meaningful new life. Conclusion: We recommend the development of a survivorship program based on self-reflection, which can engender self-transcendence and spiritual well-being.