Abstract

Introduction: Cancer diagnosis is an extremely stressful experience that has a profound impact on a patient's life. Cancer related perceived stress and complications may lead to the experience of positive psychological changes and post-traumatic growth (PTG). Since there is lack of qualitative research assessing the experience of PTG in Iranian women with breast cancer, this study aims to investigate experiences relating to PTG of Iranian women.

Methods: A qualitative phenomenological approach was selected to explore the experiences of Iranian women with PTG. Data were gathered using semi-structured, in-depth interviews with 18 eligible patients, which were then transcribed and analyzed using Van Manen’s thematic analysis approach. Data gathering and analyses were conducted simultaneously. In addition, MAXQDA software was used for data management.

Results: In this study, the participants were 18 Iranian women between the ages of 31 and 65 years. Four prominent themes were extracted from the participant's statements that demonstrated the Iranian women's experiences with breast cancer-induced psychological growth and maturity: 1) appreciate of life, 2) stability, 3) spiritual prosperity, and 4) effective interaction.

Conclusion: Health care professionals are strongly recommended to design robust and timely intervention programs to improving PTG among breast cancer survivors and reduce their perceived distress resulting from cancer diagnosis.

 

Keywords: Breast cancer, Post-traumatic growth, Qualitative research
 
 
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