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Title: 'Feeling like me again' : reconstructing women's self-image through breast reconstruction
Author: McKean, Lindsay
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2008
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An examination of the relevant literature revealed a lack of theoretical conceptualisations of breast reconstruction’s role regarding women’s self-image. The present study aimed to explore this topic further and develop appropriate theory. A Grounded Theory methodology was employed to retrospectively explore the experiences of women who had undergone breast reconstruction, focusing upon the concept of self-image. Ten participants took part in the current study, recruited from breast cancer support groups. Data was collected by means of semi-structured interviews and analysed via the NVivo 8 computer package. The views of three breast cancer care staff were also canvassed via focus group in order to verify the findings and emerging theory. The current investigation generated a core category entitled ‘Feeling like me again’. This category emerged as a reflection of the participants’ belief that breast reconstruction surgery has helped them to restore a sense of normality in their lives and in how they see themselves. The core category comprised two principal categories, namely ‘Normal Appearance’ and ‘Normal Life’, and their subordinate themes. A further two main categories were generated, entitled ‘Moving On’ and ‘Image of Sick Person’. The categories were formulated into a Model of Breast Cancer, Breast Reconstruction and Self-Image. Implications of this model in relation to existing theory and clinical practice were considered. This study has highlighted that breast reconstruction’s role in relation to women’s self-image is subtle and wide-ranging.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available