The transitional experience of women with newly diagnosed breast cancer

Ingrid Villadsen Kristensen, Bodil Rasmussen, Patricia M. Livingston, Anette Meldgaard, Ida Zerlang, Mikael Birkelund Jensen-Johansen, Jette Henriksen


The aim of the study was to provide insights into the transitional experience of women newly diagnosed with breast cancer progressing to their primary treatment. The psychosocial impact of patients in the recovery phase after breast cancer treatment has been investigated in recent years, however, little is known about the transition experience and psychosocial needs of Danish breast cancer patients during the phase of transition from diagnosis to treatment. This study employed a qualitative descriptive design with data collection including 12 semi-structured interviews with women undergoing radiation-or chemotherapy treatment.  The transcribed interviews were analysed which identified five main themes; 1) Uncertainty, 2) Sense of powerlessness, 3) Sustaining normality, 4) Worrying about the future, 5) Fortunate only having radiotherapy. Understanding care needs of women in transition, from diagnosis to treatment, and how it impacts on their lives, is essential to enable health professionals to tailor individualized care. Early support is critical to ensure that women understand step-by-step what is involved in the treatment and care and thereby to assist them towards a positive psychosocial trajectory.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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