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Ambiguity and uncertainty: the ongoing concerns of malke partners of women treated for breast cancer

Harrow, Alison; Wells, Mary; Barbour, Rosaline and Cable, Stuart (2008). Ambiguity and uncertainty: the ongoing concerns of malke partners of women treated for breast cancer. European Journal of Oncology Nursing, 12(4) pp. 349–356.

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As the prevalence of breast cancer increases, survival improves and short stay or outpatient care become the norm, greater numbers of men will be involved in providing care and support for their partners at home. This qualitative study explored the experiences of 26 male partners of women who had completed treatment for breast cancer. A questionnaire was developed in order to collect background information and to provide a pool for further qualitative sampling. One hundred and five questionnaires were distributed, 79 returned and 26 one-to-one interviews were conducted. While negotiating a role in their wives’ breast cancer experience the men attempted to find a balance between the ambiguity and uncertainty they experienced and their need to maintain normality. They described feeling ‘in limbo’ when expectations of being able to move on following their wives treatment were not fulfilled. An understanding of the ‘liminal’ experience of being a male partner of a woman with breast cancer may help health care professionals to address the ongoing difficulties men encounter. This is important as it is often the male partners who are called upon to provide continued care and support beyond the recognised treatment period.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2008 Elsevier Ltd.
ISSN: 1462-3889
Keywords: male partner; ambiguity; uncertainty; experience
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Item ID: 30094
Depositing User: Rosaline Barbour
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2011 10:32
Last Modified: 04 Oct 2016 11:08
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