The breath of life : womens' experiences of breathing adapted radiation therapy

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The breath of life : womens' experiences of breathing adapted radiation therapy

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title The breath of life : womens' experiences of breathing adapted radiation therapy
Author(s) Holst-Hansson, Annette ; Sjövall, K. ; Idvall, Ewa ; Bolmsjö, Ingrid
Date 2013
English abstract
Purpose To describe and analyze how women with breast cancer experience breathing adapted radiation therapy (BART) and to explore how women manage daily radiation therapy. Method Individual interviews were conducted with 20 women treated with BART for breast cancer concerning their perception of radiation therapy. The transcribed interviews were analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Results ‘The breath of life’ was the overall theme, as the women experienced the breathing as a way in which to influence their treatment and thus their survival. ‘Participating in one's treatment, for good or ill’, was the main category with four subcategories, ‘Knowing one has done something good’, ‘Getting an extra bonus – healthwise’, ‘The experience of being in control’ and ‘Being in a high-technology environment’. The breathing technique became the strategy by which they could manage their treatment and gave them a sense of participation which led to a feeling of being in control. The women also felt that breathing benefited their health both mentally and physically. The high-technology environment was experienced as both hopeful and frightening. Conclusion Survival or increasing the chances of survival, are of ultimate importance for a woman with breast cancer. BART requires commitment from the women, which was perceived as offering them an opportunity to participate in their own treatment, for their survival. Increasing the women's possibilities to participate in their treatment benefits their health and welfare during an otherwise turbulent time and allow the rehabilitation process to start during treatment.
DOI (link to publisher's fulltext)
Publisher Elsevier
Host/Issue European Journal of Oncology Nursing;3
Volume 17
ISSN 1462-3889
Pages 354–359
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Breathing adapted radiation therapy
Breast cancer
Research Subject Categories::MEDICINE
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