|Title:||Beyond Breast Cancer: An exploration of the experiences of middle-aged female breast cancer survivors in Australia.|
|Abstract:||Objective: Middle-aged women (40 – 65 years) who live with, through and beyond breast cancer (survivors), are a relatively under-researched population group, particularly within an Australian context. The unmet needs reported within this population include fatigue, psychological distress, body image concerns, early onset menopause, and a lack of information of these issues. The present study aims to explore how the experiences of breast cancer survivorship impact the lives of Australian middle-aged women (n = 644), and to inform future provision of care and support. Methods: This qualitative study used secondary survey data from the Australian Longitudinal Study of Women’s Health (ALSWH) middle-age cohort gathered between 1996 – 2013. Researchers conducted a thematic analysis using consensus coding on data collected from participants in this group who reported breast cancer (including metastasised) in any survey. Results: This cohort reported a unique experience of breast cancer survivorship due to their age. Analysis developed the following themes: the middle-aged context of breast cancer; care and support, body changes, overcoming fears and maintaining balance; and finding a ‘new normal’. Conclusions: Breast cancer survivorship is a subjective experience; for many it involves chronic limitations and challenges. Investigation and application of survivorship care plans in Australia would benefit from greater inclusion of multidisciplinary professionals. This will help satisfy heretofore unmet information needs and associated psychological distress of breast cancer survivors which go above their biomedical concerns. Further recommendations include development of online support groups providing access to rehabilitation professionals, especially for otherwise isolated rural women.|
|Type of Work:||Thesis|
|Appears in Collections:||Masters (Course Work) and Honours Theses - Occupational Therapy|
|Revised Thesis - Bridie Campbell.pdf||736.9 kB||Adobe PDF|
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