The concept of coping in male spouses of Iranian women with breast cancer: A qualitative study using a phenomenological approach

Marzieh Jahani Sayad Noveiri, Farshid Shamsaei, Masoud Khodaveisi, Zohreh Vanaki, Lily Tapak


Introduction: Breast cancer is a multidimensional crisis that affects not just the patient, but the spouse and other family members. Coping with this phenomenon, as one of the important challenges for the families and spouses, requires investigation. Understanding more about how spouses of women with breast cancer cope with this crisis could lead to better performance of spouses in front of their wives and raise their wives’ quality of life.

Purpose: The study was conducted to explore the concept of coping based on the lived experiences of spouses of women with breast cancer.

Methods: This qualitative study was conducted with a phenomenological approach in Hamedan and Rasht cities in Iran in 2019. Participants included 20 spouses of women with breast cancer selected by a purposive sampling method. Data were collected through unstructured face-to-face interviews and analyzed using van Manen’s six-stage phenomenological method. 

Results: The lived experiences of participants showed that the phenomenon of coping in spouses of women with breast cancer included five themes: Emotional pain, Shouldering the burden of care, Striving for family life cohesion, Future in ambiguity, and Sense of loss of self concept. Understanding the concept of coping in the spouses of women with breast cancer in health strategies can help wives achieve effective adaptation and also help professionals take effective measures in the field of medical care for patients and their spouses.

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