Supportive care experiences of rural women living with breast cancer: An interpretive descriptive qualitative study

Joanne Loughery, Roberta Woodgate


Breast cancer is the leading cause of female cancer in Canada. However, there is limited research on the health and supportive needs of rural women living with this illness. The purpose of this qualitative study was to arrive at an increased understanding of the supportive care experiences of rural women requiring treatment for invasive breast cancer who reside in rural Manitoba. To explore this phenomenon, an interpretive descriptive qualitative study was completed. Twenty women from four regional health authorities participated in the study. Data were collected using face-to-face, semi-structured interviews and analyzed by content analysis through an interpretative qualitative lens. The findings presented emphasize a holistic overview of the experiences of women living with breast cancer that captured both the positive aspects of living rurally and the described rural challenges. Pragmatic recommendations have been generated from the study findings that have implications for nursing practice and service delivery. 

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