The Patients' Experiences of the Diagnosis and Pre-Treatment Period of Breast Cancer

유방암 환자의 치료 전 경험

  • Published : 2008.11.30


Purpose: To date most research related to patients with breast cancer has discriminately investigated the status within or after the treatment although the patients demand holistic nursing care from the time of diagnosis. Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate the trajectory of breast cancer diagnosis and patients' experiences in the pre-treatment period. Method: This qualitative study used qualitative thematic analysis. Nineteen Korean women who were diagnosed with breast cancer within the last 6 month participated in the study. Individualized interviews were conducted with each participant in a cancer center in K city. The interviews were tape-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using the thematic analysis process. Results: The overriding theme was "the scattered life in an unforeseen swirl", which illustrates the participants' unexpected crisis with confusion and emotional distress. Two subthemes included "falling into an unavoidable journey", and "staggering in a muddle with urgency". The categories were "unexpected probability", "nagging nodularity", "ominous presentiment", "emotional upheaval", "bad thought intrusion", and "a sense of urgency". Conclusion: Patients in the pre-treatment period encountered utter emotional distress and a sense of urgency after being diagnosed breast cancer. Strategies to develop nursing care for patients in this period and nursing implications are discussed.