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Significant others' experience of suffering when living with women with breast cancer
Responsible organisation
2002 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, ISSN 0283-9318, E-ISSN 1471-6712, 248-255 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This is an inquiry into how significant others experience being close to a woman suffering from breast cancer. In order to find this out, theme interviews were arranged with 17 women and 16 significant others from four different caring cultures in Sweden and Finland. A phenomenological case study methodology was adopted and in the analysis of the data a scientific teamwork model was employed, based on ideas developed at the Vancouver School of Doing Phenomenology. The findings show that the significant others experience deep often unrelieved suffering. They consider themselves prisoners of a situation of uncertainty and powerlessness when standing by the woman. They are torn between their own suffering and their desire to alleviate the woman's suffering. A vicious circle of mutual protection intensifies the suffering of the significant other, while actively sharing the suffering brings relief. The gravity of the situation creates an ethical urge in the significant other to assume responsibility for life in common with the woman.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
suffering, breast cancer, significant others, experiences, phenomenology
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-8122ISI: 000177832200007Local ID: diva2:835811
Available from: 2012-09-18 Created: 2009-05-08 Last updated: 2015-06-30Bibliographically approved

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