Professional caregivers’ experiences of caring for women with breast cancer on a surgical ward
2004 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
The overall aim of the thesis was to describe caregivers’ experiences of caring for women with breast cancer on a surgical ward. The study was based on interviews with narrative parts and tape-recorded clinical supervision sessions. The interviews and clinical supervision sessions were transcribed verbatim, and analysed by content analysis.
Nurses (n=10) described life for women with breast cancer as either having freedom or not having freedom, with both physical and existential suffering. Dying occurred either naturally in patients’ own home or unnaturally in hospital. The nurses felt that it is possible to alleviate suffering during dying through providing adequate pain relief but also, through listening, providing information and changing the caring atmosphere (I).
Breast cancer as an illness was described from a dark point of view by caregivers (n=37). The descriptions focused on loss of breasts and control, progression of the illness and annihilation. The illness seemed, in the caregivers’ mind, to often end with a painful death. Caregivers who had the opportunity to follow the total care process described a lighter viewpoint (II).
According to nurses (=31) the most important needs among women, their relatives and nurses themselves were the needs to talk and receive information. There was a discrepancy between what was described as important needs and the descriptions of how these needs were provided for. Nurses, whose own needs for support were sometimes unsatisfactorily met (III), seemed almost to be unaware of the needs among women and their relatives.
In the clinical supervision sessions caregivers reflected on difficult care situations related to women’s, relatives’, and most often caregivers’ feelings (n=38). The care situations were described as evoking feelings of discomfort, powerlessness and reduced self-esteem. These feelings were described by caregivers as arising in connection with caring for especially women with advanced breast cancer in a changing organisation (IV).
Caregivers’ descriptions of caring for women with breast cancer show a lot of negative experiences of powerlessness and frustration. They met women and their relatives who suffered in various ways and had considerable need for support. Caregivers often found themselves unable to meet these needs due to organisational obstacles e.g. lack of time and lack of knowledge about other caregivers’ responsibility in the care.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå university , 2004. , 78 p.
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 933
breast cancer, caregivers, clinical supervision, content analysis, dying, interviews, needs, suffering, support, surgical care
Research subject Caring Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-371ISBN: 91-7305-773-8OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-371DiVA: diva2:143287
2004-12-09, Aulan, Vårdvetarhuset, Umeå, 09:00
Margarethe, Lorensen, Professor
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