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Title: Women's experiences of breast cancer when diagnosed in old age : an interpretative phenomenological analysis
Author: Vanderpuye, Agnes Naa-Amelay
ISNI:       0000 0004 2711 8690
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2011
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It is well documented that the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer can result in difficulties across a number of psychological domains. However, there is limited insight into this experience in relation to older women, despite evidence that women over the age of 65 are more likely to contract, and die, from the disease than any other age group. This research study aimed to augment the breast cancer literature by adding the experience of breast cancer from the perspective of this hitherto under researched group. Most specifically, this research study aimed to explore the lived experiences as defined and prioritised by the women themselves. Data were collected via semi-structured interviews, and analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (Smith, 1996). The participant group comprised seven women with ages ranging from 65-75 years. Four themes emerged from the transcripts: Liminality; Normality; Systemic Interactions and Theorising for Positive Effect. The study found that diagnosis was identified as a time of particular crisis, but that by maintaining normative life patterns, by relying on formal systems for emotional support and by theorising their experience in ways that maintained their sense of mastery, these women were able to have a lived experience of breast cancer which most described as unproblematic. In contrast with findings from some other literature, the role of professionals emerged as the primary sources of emotional support for participants, irrespective of participants' marital or familial situation. On the basis of the findings implications and recommendations are presented.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available