E-ISSN 2757-9204

Journal of Education and Research in Nursing

Journal of Education and Research in Nursing
Illness Perception in Breast Cancer Patients: A Mixed-Method Research [J Educ Res Nurs]
J Educ Res Nurs. 2024; 21(1): 65-71 | DOI: 10.14744/jern.2023.77200

Illness Perception in Breast Cancer Patients: A Mixed-Method Research

Fatma Tok Yıldız1, Funda Evcili2, Hesna Gürler3
1Department of Medical Services and Techniques, Program of Anaesthesia, Vocational School of Health Care Services, Sivas Cumhuriyet University, Sivas, Türkiye
2Department of Child Development, Vocational School of Health Care Services, Sivas Cumhuriyet University, Sivas, Türkiye
3Operating Room Services, Vocational School of Health Care Services, Sivas Cumhuriyet University, Sivas, Türkiye

Background: Breast cancer is perceived as a fatal disease causing physical, psychological, and sexual problems. The perception of the individuals regarding their disease affects the treatment process and physical/mental/social health. Therefore, identifying the perception of patients regarding breast cancer may help to reduce anxiety and improve quality of life.

Aim: This study was conducted to investigate the perceptions of patients with breast cancer regarding illness.

Methods: This mixed-method study was carried out between June and September 2019 at the oncology clinic of a university hospital. The study sample consisted of 17 patients. The data were collected face to face using a semi-structured interview form and the illness perception questionnaire. The qualitative data were analyzed using thematic analysis, and the main themes were determined.

Results: The mean age of the patients was 55.47±15.23, the disease stage of four of the patients was stage I, nine received chemotherapy, and six had metastasis The patients obtained the highest mean score from personal management (20.52±2.03) and the lowest mean score (10.64±3.87) from the duration (cyclical) perception. It was found that the patients saw psychological attributions as the cause of their illness. The content analysis determined six main themes and eight sub-themes. The themes were body image, spirituality, social/professional support, fear/sadness, awareness of early diagnosis, and role change.

Conclusion: It was concluded that the patients perceived breast cancer as a chronic disease with negative consequences. It was also determined that the patients believed in the cyclical nature of the disease, and their negative emotions provoked by the illness were high.

Keywords: Breast cancer, illness perception, mixed method research

Fatma Tok Yıldız, Funda Evcili, Hesna Gürler. Illness Perception in Breast Cancer Patients: A Mixed-Method Research. J Educ Res Nurs. 2024; 21(1): 65-71

Corresponding Author: Hesna Gürler, Türkiye
Manuscript Language: English


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