Title

Treatment decision making in breast cancer: A longitudinal exploration of women's experiences

Document Type

Article

Source of Publication

British Journal of Health Psychology

Publication Date

2-1-2012

Abstract

Objectives. To explore the lived experience of breast cancer in relation to the treatment decision-making process over time. Design. Adopting a hermeneutic phenomenological approach, semi-structured interviews were undertaken at three points in time during the year following diagnosis. Methods. After ethical approval had been obtained, 20 women who were recently diagnosed with breast cancer were recruited from a Symptomatic Breast Cancer Unit in the North East of England. Results. Four themes emerged: role in the treatment decision-making process; acceptance of medical opinions; getting rid of it; and cancer schemas. The majority of women reported a passive role in the surgical treatment decision-making process and all women did so in relation to subsequent treatment decisions. However, women adopted this role consciously and consequently were not disengaged from the process but maintained a sense of ownership and control over their health. The women did not describe experiencing decisional regret at any point in the year following diagnosis and rarely revisited the decisions made, only doing so in a positive manner. Trust in the abilities and experience of healthcare professionals and maximizing chances of survival were cited as reasons for not having had greater involvement. Despite being given information about treatment options, many women made the decision not to attend to this information perceiving this to be anxiety provoking. Conclusions. The findings from this study suggest a need for eliciting more specific psycho-social interactions in the treatment decision-making process in order to identify ways in which women can be supported throughout their experience. ©2011 The British Psychological Society.

ISSN

1359-107X

Publisher

Wiley-Blackwell

Volume

17

Issue

1

First Page

155

Last Page

170

Disciplines

Medicine and Health Sciences | Psychology

Keywords

adolescent; adult; aged; article; breast tumor; female; human; interview; longitudinal study; middle aged; patient participation; United Kingdom; Adolescent; Adult; Aged; Breast Neoplasms; England; Female; Humans; Interviews as Topic; Longitudinal Studies; Middle Aged; Patient Participation; Young Adult

Scopus ID

84855820701

Indexed in Scopus

yes

Open Access

no

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