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29 January 2018 : Clinical Research  

Experiences of Social Support Among Chinese Women with Breast Cancer: A Qualitative Analysis Using a Framework Approach

Hailing Zhang1ABCDEF, Ling Xiao1BC, Guosheng Ren2AD*

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.908458

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24: PUB574-581

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Breast cancer and its treatment provoke a series of emotional changes in patients during their breast cancer journeys. Social support is critical in helping women cope with their negative emotional responses. However, few studies have described the experiences of women with breast cancer within the Chinese context. This qualitative study explored the experiences of Chinese women with breast cancer regarding social support.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: This qualitative study was based on constructivism epistemology. Chinese women with breast cancer were invited to interview between June and August 2016. Purposive sampling was used, and the women were recruited until data saturation was reached (n=25).

RESULTS: We found that all participants expressed the importance of social support during their breast cancer journeys. The thematic framework of social support was identified, which included the following 4 interrelated themes: providers, types of support, outcomes of support, and challenges for care.

CONCLUSIONS: Social support is important in the health care of women living with breast cancer. Healthcare professionals should provide more individualized support and care to women during this vulnerable period.

Keywords: Qualitative Research, Social Support

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750