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Article

“This is a kind of Betrayal”: A Qualitative Study of Disability after Breast Cancer

1
Department of Sociology, 9 Campus Drive, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5A5, Canada
2
McGill University Health Centre, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada
3
St. Boniface Hospital Research Centre, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada
4
Fraser Valley Cancer Centre, Surrey, BC, Canada
5
Family Medicine Teaching Unit, Dalhousie University, Fredericton, NB, Canada
6
Atlantic Health Sciences Corporation, Saint John, NB, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Curr. Oncol. 2009, 16(3), 26-32; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.v16i3.389
Submission received: 5 February 2009 / Revised: 4 March 2009 / Accepted: 2 April 2009 / Published: 1 May 2009

Abstract

Objective: We proposed to document the effect of arm morbidity and disability in 40 Canadian women who were 12–24 months post breast cancer surgery. Methods: We completed 40 qualitative interviews as one component of a multidisciplinary national longitudinal study of arm morbidity after breast cancer (n = 745) involving four research sites (Fredericton/Saint John, Montreal, Winnipeg, Surrey). During semi-structured interviews, participants who had reported arm morbidity and disability in earlier surveys were asked to discuss the effects of these conditions on everyday life. Results: The interviewees reported making major adjustments to paid and unpaid work, which often involved the assistance of family members, thus demonstrating the effect of disability. Interview data resulted in the creation of a model that addresses arm morbidity and disability, and that holds implications for health care professionals. Conclusions: Based on the interview findings, we conclude that a robust measure of disability after breast cancer should be developed. In the absence of a validated measure of the effect of disability, evaluating qualitative responses to questions about everyday activities could provide the impetus for provision of physical therapy and emotional support.
Keywords: breast cancer; psychosocial effects; qualitative study; disability; arm morbidity breast cancer; psychosocial effects; qualitative study; disability; arm morbidity

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MDPI and ACS Style

Thomas-MacLean, R.; Towers, A.; Quinlan, E.; Hack, T.F.; Kwan, W.; Miedema, B.; Tilley, A.; Graham, P. “This is a kind of Betrayal”: A Qualitative Study of Disability after Breast Cancer. Curr. Oncol. 2009, 16, 26-32. https://doi.org/10.3747/co.v16i3.389

AMA Style

Thomas-MacLean R, Towers A, Quinlan E, Hack TF, Kwan W, Miedema B, Tilley A, Graham P. “This is a kind of Betrayal”: A Qualitative Study of Disability after Breast Cancer. Current Oncology. 2009; 16(3):26-32. https://doi.org/10.3747/co.v16i3.389

Chicago/Turabian Style

Thomas-MacLean, Roanne, A. Towers, E. Quinlan, T. F. Hack, W. Kwan, B. Miedema, A. Tilley, and P. Graham. 2009. "“This is a kind of Betrayal”: A Qualitative Study of Disability after Breast Cancer" Current Oncology 16, no. 3: 26-32. https://doi.org/10.3747/co.v16i3.389

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