Coping has been closely connected to stress; it involves a process by which a person attempts to restore balance in response to a stressful life event (Henderson, Gore, Davis, and Condon, 2003). The most common cancer among Canadian women in 2010 is breast cancer. An average of 445 Canadian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and an average of 100 Canadian women will die of breast cancer every week (Canadian Cancer Society, 2010). Coping with breast cancer has been defined as being emotionally and physically challenging for women and their families (Henderson et Al., 2003). Women that are newly diagnosed with breast cancer and those in the period between diagnosis and treatment are seen as being most stressful due to the uncertainty and ambiguity about the disease, lack of information and the need to make treatment decisions as soon as possible (Balneaves and Long, 1999). Understanding women’s experience in coping with breast cancer will aid nurses and other health care professionals to recognize maladaptive coping strategies and ensure that women receive the support that they need in order to promote physical and psychological recovery (Luker, Beaver, Leinster and Owens, 1996).
Description of Literature
The purpose of this limited descriptive review is to develop an understanding of how women cope when diagnosed with breast cancer. The review includes 13 single studies in total, represented by seven quantitative studies and six qualitative studies from 1996-2008. In addition, one mixed-method study will be reviewed. The chosen articles will be defined according to paradigm, method, samples, and key findings. Also, it will be described in a synthesized manner according to qualitative and...
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... 2006; Gonzalez and Lengacher, 2007). Another limitation that was noted among the literature was the potential bias in selecting samples and the generalization of the studies findings was limited. The data needs to be considered because of the complex nature of the disease and treatments (Wengstrom et al., 2001; Ebright and Lyon, 2002; Henderson et al., 2003; Carlsson, 2005; Li and Lambert, 2007; Gonzalez and Lengacher, 2007). Lastly, in a number of studies, the data was only measure at one point in time. Feelings and emotions change from time to time. Also, a single time measurement does not allow dynamic changes in the study to be investigated accordingly. Measuring multiple times will aid in providing more credible data for the studies (Luker, et al., 1996; Henderson et al, 2003; Gelinas and Fillion, 2004; Drageset and Lindstrom, 2005; Carlsson et al., 2005).
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